When you hear the problem that Double Dutch Drinks, a new line of premium mixers, aims to solve it is clear, actually obvious, that the entrepreneurs behind the London-based brand would be twins sisters. Raissa and Joyce de Haas developed Double Dutch to create mixers just as premium and well-crafted as their spirits counterparts.
“While the world’s choice of spirits has continued to grow, mixers and sodas have remained bland…less of a twin and more of a shadow,” is how Raissa put it, calling on an altogether appropriate metaphor.
They hatched the idea while noticing a boom in the quality and variety of various spirits, yet finding an equally premium mixer was difficult. Focusing on developing mixers crafted with natural ingredients and balanced flavors, the sisters envisioned a revolution within the mixers category that elevated the spirit and intensified the overall drinking experience. “The perfect twin,” to your spirit of choice, as they say.
Launched in 2015, Double Dutch has already garnered acclaim among bartenders, consumers and, one rather famous barometer of big ideas, Richard Branson. The sisters were awarded the Richard Branson Foodpreneur award for their innovation in the beverage category.
We sat down recently with Raissa to learn more about taking her idea from kitchen trial and error to beautifully-packaged product, where to go out in London, and a bit about the creative process needed to innovate in an industry that needed a good mixing up. Follow their social schedules and check out their mixer line at http://doubledutchdrinks.com/.
If you could spend a week anywhere on earth, where would you go? I love the combination of beautiful nature and the facilities to make a little party. Places like Ibiza, Mykonos, Cote d’azur, where you can find nature, private beaches, beautiful sunsets, and then on the other hand, take a cab, ride for 20 minutes and have a blast at one of the party spots or beaches.
What is one brand that best reflects your personality? Double Dutch of course, as I created it myself! What we tried to do when creating our brand was stay true to ourselves as people. Every person is different and by being authentic we think we can make an outstanding brand. We always look for something new, we love differences in people, we like to challenge ourselves in everything we do, and, of course, we love a good party.
What are you working on, right now, that you’re most excited about? We are in the development of our 5th flavor with LVMH, which I am super excited about. I love this time during the process where we just experiment with loads of flavors and can be creative about anything we want to make. The result will be a flavor for dark spirits specifically, for which I have very high hopes, as there is not a lot on the market currently.
What idea or emerging trend will everyone be talking about in 2-5 years? We see a significant and rapid trend toward premium-izing the spirits market, making people so much more aware of the quality of the tonic. Consumers are also now slowly becoming really interested in different flavors, both in spirits and mixers, and I think this will mainstream in the next few years.
Also, the importance of the 'restaurant feeling' at home will also only increase in popularity, where we’re focusing on making great cocktails at home in a very easy and simple way.
I want a unique dinner in London, where do I go? Swingers Crazy Golf in the city. They just opened and have already taken London by storm. They serve amazing food & drinks and you can play a little set of mini golf while sipping on a cocktail. So much fun!
For two industry innovators, you must have a Rolodex of local bars you find inspiring. What are two watering holes should we hit when we’re in London next? I love The Shard. It brings up a feeling of calm and tranquility over the busiest city in Europe. On the 32nd floor you can find two completely separate venues: Oblix, a New York-style bar where you can just relax and sip on a G&T, and Hutong if you fancy an upscale Chinese experience with breathtaking views.
Bar Boulud: I love the atmosphere of Bar Boulud…the open-plan kitchen is fun to watch and the food is amazing (and reasonable!). Dishes are a mixture of French and American fare with a fantastic wine menu.