Double Dutch is a drinks mixer brand that blends fusions of superb flavours, garnished with a strong belief in the importance of having fun. This female-driven company was founded by Dutch twins, Raissa and Joyce de Haas, born and raised in the Netherlands, the birthplace of gin. Their business took off in their London university apartment while they were completing a joint (naturally) Masters in Tech Entrepreneurship.
‘We noticed that alcoholic drinks had become more vibrant and diverse than ever, whilst tonics and mixers had scarcely changed,’ Raissa says. ‘Joyce and I agreed predictable wasn’t good enough and set ourselves the challenge of shaking up the market.’ They experimented by pairing their own mixer innovations with a range of spirits, mainly at parties (of course), which led friends and family to dub them the ‘Tonic Twins’.
Joyce takes up the story: ‘Realising that a flavourful drink relies on the mixer as much as it does the alcohol, we took it upon ourselves to create a range of versatile products with new and unpredictable flavour pairings. That led to Double Dutch, a company whose mission is to ensure you never drink dull again.’
Success was immediate, with the 2015 Foodpreneur Award from Richard Branson and the honour of winning Best Adult Soft Drink at the World Beverage Innovation Awards the following year. Double Dutch now exports to over 40 markets. Next up in 2022, the USA.
Double Dutch’s unexpected flavour pairings are designed to thrill the palate with new combinations using molecular gastronomy – otherwise known as the appliance of science to the understanding of food preparation. ‘Or for the drinks world,’ Raissa says, ‘you could call it molecular mixology.’
The result was the twinning of flavours like cucumber and watermelon or pomegranate and basil to make premium mixers that raise the bar every time – perfect to sip solo or versatile enough to savour with a range of spirits. Double Dutch’s flavour-led approach uses only the best ingredients, free from artificial sugars or preservatives; low in sugar, high on taste and quick to get the party started.
‘And we didn’t stop there,’ Joyce adds, ‘we’ve re-engineered ginger beer, created tonics to astonish, and last year we developed cocktail sodas – Bloody Mary Soda and Margarita Soda with Chilli and Cucumber – perfect if you’re not drinking and just as good with vodka and tequila if you are.’
‘Flavour isn’t enough though,’ she says. ‘As entrepreneurs, we must not leave the planet in a worse position than we found it. We engage with our supply chain to reduce our impact on the environment.’
Last year was packed full: revenues more than doubled; distribution agreements made with PepsiCo in Belgium and Tesco in the UK; partnering with venues like Cliveden House, Chewton Glen, Soho House; a web subscription service allowing customers to enjoy Double Dutch easily every month; and an innovative mentoring scholarship programme for female bartenders and mixologists.
The twins’ ultimate vision? ‘We’ve dedicated our lives to creating Double Dutch,’ says Raissa. ‘Our passion inspires our constant pursuit of deliciously unexpected flavour pairings. Now it is time to tackle under-representation of females in the drinks industry and ensure Double Dutch achieves carbon neutral status in 2022.’