Jessica Mili takes Bols Around the World title

11 May 2017

Doing it for the girls, Canada's Jessica Mili has been crowned the winner of Bols Bartending World Championship 2017.

Mili beat 2,000 entrants from 75 countries at last night's final in Amsterdam's Bar Broker with her Bols Genever concept.

Her winning cocktail Still Life was served with an interactive piece of art, allowing guests to add colour to the artwork, making it their own.

'Jessica’s hospitality shone through. She was so natural; great under pressure,' said Malika Saidi, head of the jury and Lucas Bols global brand ambassador. 'Her drink was delicious and accessible for everyone and she brought her concept to life throughout the entire evening.'

Saidi joined a judging panel of David Wondrich, Jim Meehan and Lucas Bols’ master distiller, master bartender and BATW 2014 winner Kate Gerwin who were all equally impressed with Mili’s creation.

'This year marks many firsts for Bols Around the World, which has been running for nine years,' added Huub van Doorne, CEO of Lucas Bols. 'This is the first time the competition has been dedicated to Bols Genever and the first time we have opened the competition to the public and taken over an entire street. This format allowed the finalists to not only demonstrate their cocktail creating skills, but also their hospitality in a real-life setting.'

Mili competed against finalists from Mexico, Malta, Canada, Poland, India, Russia and Japan, who each worked in one of the seven participating bars Huf, Bar Paul, Lion Noir, Snappers, Rose’s Cantina, A l’Elephant du Congo and Bar Broker, on 'Bols Geneverstreet', their stage for the evening. Each bar was decorated by each finalist to convey their Bols Genever concept and served their cocktail.

'I am thrilled to win. It's surreal. I already felt like a winner being in Amsterdam for the past few days,' gushed Mili. 'I think it’s important to know your guests in order to give them a good time. I love people and that's why I love bartending.'

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