The Double Dutch twins are packing double the flavour
We are Joyce and Raissa de Haas, identical twins from the Netherlands and the co-founders of Double Dutch Drinks.
After studying in Antwerp, we both started working in banking. After about six months, we realised that this wasn’t the career for us and wanted to do something a bit more creative. This was essentially our Eureka moment — we gave up our jobs in finance and moved to London with the goal of starting our own company. Our Master’s dissertation at UCL focused on the fact that the spirit industry was developing rapidly, but that the market for quality mixers was not. We won an award for the most promising start-up and received our first initial investment from the university. We used this to start producing and selling. Four years down the line and we are going from strength to strength!
We think that becoming Less Ordinary is essentially the goal for our Double Dutch tonics and mixers. Our technique in itself is quite less ordinary. We came across a molecular technique of flavour pairing that finds the chemical components that certain spirits have in common with certain ingredients.
We definitely have a real connection to the Bloomsbury and Marylebone neighbourhood, primarily because this is where Double Dutch Drinks came to life. Our initial idea for the business came about during our time at University College London just off Gower Street. Our first office space was on Tottenham Court Road, which then expanded to our current office in Marylebone. We’ve kept everything very local!
We have a select few restaurants that we find ourselves going back to time and time again, one is Yen Burger in London Bridge. There are loads of burgers restaurants in London, but Yen is definitely a little different with their Asian inspired burgers and cocktails. Other great spots are the brewery and rib joint Pitt Cue near Liverpool Street, and 45 Jermyn St which is a contemporary and stylish brasserie in St. James’s. Aside from restaurants, we like Swingers in the West End, it’s a crazy golf course with different bars and multiple street-food vendors. We recently had a team event there, and we can guarantee it will be a good night!
There are so many ‘less ordinary’ hidden gems in London, especially speakeasies. Two of ours favourites are The Night Jar on Old Street and their sister bar Oriole in Farringdon. Both are 1920s themed and have lovely candlelit tables, quality cocktails and live jazz and swing bands. Another gem is the Victorian Bath House near Liverpool Street, which occupies a Grade II listed building from 1895. The marble floored rooms are decorated with oriental lanterns, Turkish tiling, and original stained glass - It’s unlike any other bar in London.
One of our favourite cities to visit in Europe is Antwerp. In our opinion, it’s a really underrated European City and has so much to offer. The cobblestone lanes, the beautiful cathedrals, and the Scheldt River – are all really beautiful. There are several hidden gems but one of our favourite places to stay is De Gulde Schoen. It’s modern, trendy, and located in the old town which is perfect for exploring.