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Double Dutch’s twin founders story is definitely one of my favorite because it is a perfect representation of sophisticated high-end entrepreneurship, just like their mixers. From finding a problem in a filed they are passionate about–to experimenting with the idea and doing research–to winning the most promising startup at the University and receiving initial funding to launch the business.
Their passion for gin tonic combined with the frustration with the limited selection of high-end mixers on the market turned into the UK based premium tonic and mixer brand selling over half a million bottles per month across 22 countries.
Their history follows that of the gin. Gin evolved as herbal medicine (made from juniper berries) in the Netherlands and became popular in Great Britain (particularly in London). During their studies in Antwerp, the twins started experimenting with making their own syrups and sodas and brought them to friends and other student parties. A few years later, in 2015 their tonic waters and mixers were produced and sold in the UK. With innovation at its core, Double Dutch has sold just under 10 million bottles to date.
“After graduating we both started working in the financial sector however quite soon we realized this wasn’t really for us. We then decided to go to London to start a Second Master in Technology Entrepreneurship at University College London (UCL). The syrups and mixers we were making for fun the years before, formed the starting point for our thesis. We researched the market during our year at UCL and looked at the discrepancy in the beverage market where spirits are becoming more and more experimental while the choice of mixers and tonic waters remains as bland as before. At graduation, we received the prize for the most promising startup from our University and received our initial funding to start which we used to produce our first batch to get customer feedback.”, Raissa tells.
Тhe twins say that there is a significant market opportunity to accelerate growth, both internationally and domestically in the UK.
“The global tonic water market is worth over £1bn and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2018 to 2023. Having achieved a sales CAGR of 180% between 2015-2018, Double Dutch is positioned as a challenger brand in the tonic water & mixer category, increasingly establishing itself as a reputable brand in the space. Double Dutch was the first mixer brand to launch quinine-free tonic and to focus on double paired flavoring for mixers.”
Among the many awards they have received, Richard Branson supported the Double Dutch vision by giving the twins a Foodpreneur award for their innovative Food and Beverage brand.
I had a few gin tonics with the energetic twins in Amsterdam a few months ago and now in the spirit of the Holiday season, I asked them to share a few Christmas recipes and tips for a perfect gin tonic.
Here go the 5 tips for a perfect Gin & Tonic by Raissa De Haas.
1. The right mixer. Make sure you use the perfect mixer for both your taste and the gin! If you don’t like bitter taste make sure you use a slightly sweeter mixer such as Double Dutch Cucumber & Watermelon, this has no quinine which is the botanical that gives Indian Tonic its distinct bitter notes. Find out the dominate botanicals in the gin and pair to the mixer, for example, if there is red fruit try Double Dutch Cranberry & Ginger which will help bring out all those lovely fruity flavors for a fruity G&T
2. Lots of ice! Lots of ice is always important when creating the perfect G&T, we love to use big ice cubes and fill the glass to the top, the more ice you have the colder the drink, and the colder the drink the less the ice melts stopping excess dilution allowing you to enjoy all the flavors in your G&T.
3. Fresh garnish. No matter what garnish you use, make sure you are adding it to the drink not just leaving it on the side! Even a simple squeeze of lime with fill your glass with fresh aroma allowing for a fresher taste experience. Also, try adding some garnish in your ice cubs when filling with water–it doesn’t only look pretty but gives a great extra touch of flavor when the ice melts.
4. Straw? There are a couple of factors which define if you should use a straw or not, it could be as simple as not wanting to ruin your lipstick… The only rule I would say when deciding on whether to use a straw or not is the garnish, with 80% of flavor coming through the nose make sure you still get all those aromas when using a straw, either keep in short or close to the garnish.
5. Ask the experts. Ask questions, be experimental, try as many different combinations as you can until you find the ones which suit you! Try different gins, experiment with different tonic waters, follow your favorite brands on Instagram and see what they are doing, ask the barman, just be adventurous! And who knows, maybe there is a new favorite G&T out there for you!
As they say from their hearth to your glasses here are the 5 Christmas G&T recipes they recommend:
- A herbaceous Gin (for example Monkey 47) with Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil. Garnish with rosemary and blackberries.
- Sloe gin with Double Dutch Spices and Oakwood. Garnish with Mint, raspberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
- Red fruit-base Gin with Double Dutch Cranberry & Ginger. Garnish with Clove-studded orange wedge.
- Navy strength Gin with Double Dutch Spices and Oakwood. Garnish with Cinnamon and dehydrated orange wheel.
- Spiced Gin, Tawny Port with Double Dutch Indian Tonic. Garnish with Star Anise and Apple Slices.
December 23, 2018 at 11:30AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs