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Mix it up with some Double Dutch cocktail inspiration!


We met the dynamic twin sister duo, Joyce and Raissa De Haas, behind the fast growing Double Dutch mixers brand! Just in time for the Platinum Jubilee long weekend, they offer some delicious cocktail recipes that are sure to wow your family and friends.


Make ours a gin with Double Dutch Cucumber & Watermelon. It’s an intriguing blend of flavours, especially if you buy into the rationale behind the Double Dutch mixers brand. Founders Joyce and Raissa De Haas, realised that if you like your gin/tequila/ vodka you’ll want to taste its particular blend of botanicals and not just the fizzy accompaniment. This ‘ta-da’ moment led the duo to devise a range of mixers that allowed the flavour of the spirit to sing, while also being delicious in their own right.

The rest of the business backstory pretty much writes its own marketing taglines: ‘glamorous 20-something identical Eurochic twin founders who walked away from careers in finance to embark on postgrads in entrepreneurship’. The De Haas sisters were born in the Netherlands and grew up in Antwerp to parents working in furniture, antiques and real estate. Their family home just happened to have its own alcohol licence – what was that about marketing taglines? – and the twins describe how their parents, both “super passionate about different types of drinks”, used the licence to import wines, champagnes and spirits for their friends and family.

What they say was just a hobby sounded a lot of fun, including parties for 50 being commonplace. During these parties the twins decided that it was such a shame that no one really cared about the mixers, that they started to blend their own. Again, it was only ever a hobby and what followed was a more traditional path, reading Economics at university in Antwerp, then careers in finance.

So far so great, but Joyce and Raissa realised that while finance itself was okay they didn’t like banking’s environment and culture, or what they termed the “whole corporateness” of it all. A friend studying at UCL was raving about his time there and when they discovered a course that covered setting up a start-up, it seemed like fate and the sisters moved to London. The course was so tailormade to setting up a brand there was even a ‘Most Promising Start Up’ prize. Inevitably, the twins won.

Asked if they always agree on flavours the twins laugh and say absolutely not, but as they always trial flavours with customers and bartenders, 95% of their recipes change before launch anyway. For Raissa the current favourite has just launched. She loves her Bloody Mary Soda – “fantastic for a quick cocktail”. For Joyce it depends on the time of year and the occasion, and she’s currently loving the Cranberry & Ginger – though both agree it’s hard to choose between their different babies.

Already exporting to over 40 other countries, the main focus for Double Dutch this year is the US. They will initially be in five states, including California, New York and Texas and plan to be on the road there every six weeks. Their advice to anyone with an idea is to get on with launching and not wait “until you think the product is perfect.” They feel their own mistakes include “horrible labelling” at the beginning and thinking you can’t be too young to start; “if you’re straight out of school or university there’s so much less to give up, such as salary and job security”.

They also under-hired in the early days and the business was growing so quickly that they felt they were continually lagging behind with expertise. Raissa also wishes she’d been less chaotic – “If we’d kept business cards at the beginning we would have a database of 15,000 of the most amazing customers”. One resource they highly recommend is mothers. “So many incredible women with amazing careers who have taken a step back after having children and want to be able to work flexible and part-time hours”.

They can’t imagine working without the other but admit it’s hard to switch off from business when working with your twin, “We spent all of Christmas Day talking about Double Dutch”. The benefits include being able to fight with someone with no repercussions because you don’t need to be diplomatic with each other. And in meetings the twins admit they know exactly what each other is thinking with the slightest twitch of an eyebrow. They also share the same clothes, swapping suitcases full of garments with each other every week.

When entertaining their friends Raissa’s current favourite cocktail is a twist on a Negroni: “Vermouth, Campari and top with Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil – it’s a lighter version of a classic”. The Cucumber Margarita with Chilli Soda is super easy: “Make a salt rim, add tequila and it looks and tastes amazing”.


Double Dutch Negroni

The Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil mixer brings a slightly lighter twist to a classic Negroni and has all the sweet and bitter notes you could wish for. Play around with garnishes, anything from a dried orange slice to a few basil leaves. Don’t forget the ice!

Ingredients:

  • 25ml Red Vermouth
  • 25ml Campari
  • Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds

Accessories:

  • Highball glass
  • Spirits jigger
  1. Put a handful of ice in a highball glass
  2. Add 25cl red Vermouth and 25cl Campari
  3. Top with Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil
  4. Add basil leaves and pomegranate seeds to garnish for added texture

Cucumber Margarita with Chilli Soda

We’ve done a lot of the hard work for you here with our Cucumber Margarita with Chilli Soda cocktail! You can also make this without Cointreau for a Tommy’s twist with a little less alcohol. Watch out for the heat of chilli on the finish.

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Tequila
  • 25ml Cointreau
  • Lime wedge
  • Salt Double Dutch Cucumber Margarita

Accessories:

  • Margarita glass
  • Spirits jigger
  1. Pour 50ml Tequila and 25ml Cointreau into a salt-rimmed margarita glass 2
  2. Top with Double Dutch Cucumber Margarita and garnish with a lime wedge

At some point the pair will work on a cocktail book, something that won’t take long given they’ve been making recipes pretty much their whole lives.

As far as a motto for life goes, neither believe in a work life balance – “If work is your life then it’s 100% of your life and you need to be passionate about it”. They both love London and think it’s the best city in the world because you can walk and see so many different neighbourhoods and so much green space. “If it had good weather then we’d never leave!”. For now, it’s all about building their brand so that it’s recognisable around the world. That, and mixing a lot of mean margaritas. Cheers!


Find out more about these fantastic Double Dutch mixers at doubledutchdrinks.com


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