Dutch twin sisters Raissa and Joyce noticed that the options for mixer drinks had remained stagnant and uninteresting, whilst the spirit market had boomed with creative and exciting options, such as raspberry gin and salted caramel vodka.
Fed up with having yet another boring tonic water as their mixer, they decided to do something about it! Enter Double Dutch Drinks, a company that Raissa and Joyce hope will change the nature of mixer drinks by offering up delicious combinations of unusual flavours, where the notes are allowed to sing for themselves, without being overpowering. They can be enjoyed as a mixer or as a standalone, sophisticated adult soft drink.
Created through a process of process of molecular gastronomy, Double Dutch Drinks are free of artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, offering a healthier as well as a more delicious choice.
Incredibly, Raissa and Joyce first started experimenting with distilling and drink making with their parents, who are keen gin distillers.
At university in Belgium they begun to make their own flavoured soda water, but it wasn’t until they were studying an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship at UCL that they really begun to pursue their great ideas.
They began by talking to distillers about which ingredients would enhance the taste of different spirits, and from this emerged two initial flavoured tonics: Pomegranate with Basil and Cucumber with Watermelon.
Repeatedly tried and tested by willing friends and family, these two drinks proved to be a great hit.
Such a hit, in fact, that Raissa and Joyce were awarded the UCL Bright Ideas Award for most promising start-up, a boost this enabled them to launch their first products, their (Pomegranate with Basil and Cucumber with Watermelon mixers) in 2015.
Since then, the awards and recognition have come thick and fast. Double Dutch drinks received the Virgin Foodpreneur Award from Sir Richard Branson for most innovative and disruptive food and beverage product in the UK, as well as winning Best Adult Soft Drink at the World Beverage Innovation Awards in 2016 and being listed on Forbe’s ’30 under 30’.
One of their biggest successes so far is a contract with Waitrose helping them sell over ten million bottles in twenty five countries.
This success gave Joyce and Raissa the confidence to expand their drinks range to what it is today: a wide range of mixers, tonics, light ginger beers and ‘cocktail sodas’ that work well with a wide range of alcoholic drinks. From darker spirits such as bourbon rum to the classic gins and wine spritzers, Double Dutch offers a dazzling range of options for you to try.
It is important for Raissa and Joyce that their mixers and tonics could also be enjoyed without alcohol: 30% of their customers enjoy Double Dutch without alcohol and the ‘low or no’ alcohol market is growing every year.
Their website offers some irresistible sounding ‘low or no’ cocktails such as Skinny Pom Pom (pomegranate and lime juice topped with a Double Dutch Skinny Tonic) or a Ginger Tiki Beer (pineapple and lime juice and Double Dutch Ginger Beer).
Looking to the future after a challenging year, Raissa and Joyce want to make Double Dutch carbon neutral by 2022 and they hope to continue their expansion into the world’s smartest hotels and bars.