Bols Beginning
Lucas Bols USA Gains a Stronger
Foothold in the American Market
By kristen bieler
on
call
peacock
alley
Frank Caiafa
and his cocktail
creation
The Bronx
from Above.
See recipe on
next page
.
T
he spirits and liqueurs of Lu-
cas Bols are not new to the
world—the company began
distilling in Holland 438
years ago. They aren’t new to the U.S.
market either, with representation
from a handful of importers over the
last few decades.
But the path ahead for this family
of brands looks much different today
than it did even a month ago, now
that all the products in the company’s
portfolio are under the control of Lucas
Bols USA, the New York–based sales
and marketing company.
“As a supplier, you want control over
your destiny, and the ability to relay your
passion for your products first-hand to
distributors, bartenders and consumers,”
says Tal Nadari, Managing Director, Lu-
cas Bols USA, who came to the U.S. from
Holland five years ago to lead this effort.
At that time, he was a lone soldier, work-
ing to bring the brands back from sepa-
rate importers. Today Lucas Bols USA
employs a team of 23 people.
Beginning in 2010 with Bols
Genever, Damrak Gin and Galliano—
the revered Italian liqueur purchased
in 2006—Lucas Bols USA has been
steadily building a portfolio of artisan
spirits, with the introduction of Gal-
liano Ristretto and an aged expres-
sion of Bols, called Bols Barrel Aged
Genever. This month, the company of-
ficially took back its successful line of
Bols liqueurs. This in many ways marks
the real beginning of the Lucas Bols
story in the U.S.
Tradition Meets Innovation
Lucas Bols USA’s focus is predomi-
nantly on bartenders with a passion for
the cocktail. “We have always believed
first and foremost in the bartender,”
says Jaron Berkhemer, Marketing Di-
rector. “We always look to introduce
innovations—but not just for the sake
of doing something new. We always
ask ourselves if a new flavor or tool
will add true value to a bartender or
in a cocktail. If the answer is ‘yes,’ we
are quick to bring something unique
into the market. This is why we re-
cently released Bols Yogurt Liqueur
and in September will debut Bols
Foam [see next page]. Being 438 years
old, we pride ourselves on being the
oldest distilled spirits brand while
leading today’s trends.”
July marks also the inauguration
of the Bols Bartender Academy:
Brand ambassadors with mobile bars
will travel the country illustrating
the possibilities with Bols products.
At Tales of the Cocktail this month,
the Bols Bartending Academy will
attempt to set the record for the
largest pousse-café (a cocktail with
separate layers) in a five-foot tall glass
(the current record stands at 32 layers
in a shot glass).
With a belief in the American
bartender’s and consumer’s interest
in quality products with an authentic
story, and with their broad portfolio
now under one roof, the Lucas Bols
team anticipates tapping deeply into
the U.S. market.
M
ost people aren’t aware that the British
got the idea to create gin from Genever,
the ancient Dutch spirit created 100
years before gin. Lucas Bols is determined to
get the word out, however. “There are many
producers making Genever
within Holland, but we wanted
to bring it back on a global
scale,” says Nadari. Bols
Genever has been distilled
since 1664 and was intro-
duced to the U.S. market in
2008. One year later, it won
Best Spirit at Tales of the
Cocktail, and has become the
company’s most awarded product.
Genever lends itself to mixing in ways that
gin cannot. Made with rye, wheat and corn,
it behaves more like a whiskey with a lovely
sweetness and viscosity. It shows much less
juniper berry character than its English cousin,
with softer, rounder botanical flavors.
Bols recently introduced an aged
Genever to the market—the only one
of its kind.
Yet Bols is far from anti-gin:
Their own Dutch gin, Damrak—a
citrus-dominant gin with an excellent
value proposition—is the fastest
growing brand in their portfolio.
Reintroducing bols genever
Holland’s Gift to Mixology
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