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Twins quit finance jobs to set up business selling cocktails from a campervan

They say great minds think alike, and for Dutch twins, Joyce and Raissa De Haas, 30, it couldn’t be more fitting.

The sisters do everything with each other, from studying the same course at university to having the same friends, and even starting a successful business together.

Double Dutch (pun intended) was created by the twins in 2015 after they realised there was a gap in the market for soda and tonic mixers – although their career originally started off a little differently.

READ MORE: Tooting brothers who took a Caribbean food business from £500 to national success during lockdown

Speaking to My London on their iconic name, Raissa said: “Someone said oh you should call it Double Dutch, we thought it was quite funny but the next day it really stuck.

The twins serving cocktails in Southbank

“Being twins, it works really well, we know each other inside out. Its quite efficient because we just say it how it is. Working together isn’t so bad, our social lives are quite intertwined because we have a lot of the same friends, we are constantly together so it’s very fun.”

The twins were born and raised in Eindhoven, The Netherlands – which is the birthplace of gin. As The Netherlands is gin-central, it’s not uncommon for houses to contain former distilleries and Joyce and Raissa grew up with one in their garden.

Joyce and Raissa’s parents taught the girls all about the different types of gins, vodkas and wines and the family also lived near lots of local distilleries.

By the time the sisters went to university to study finance, they knew all about the world of spirits. However, they noticed there wasn’t a big progression with mixers, in particular soda and tonics.

So the pair began making their own, and started trying them out with friends at university socials and parties.

“We began hosting our own parties but wenever really thought about doing it seriously, we thought of it more as a hobby. Then we graduated, but when we started our jobs in finance we realised it wasn’t for us,” Raissa said.

The girls have toured everywhere in London, even outside the London Eye
The girls have toured everywhere in London, even outside the London Eye

Joyce and Raissa took a risk and quit their jobs in finance before moving to London in 2013 to study an MSc in Entrepreneurship at UCL.

While at university, the twins researched into the mixology industry to find out where there were gaps in the market. They graduated in 2014 with the concept of Double Dutch and were awarded a prize for having the business plan of the year.

They launched their first two mixers, cucumber and watermelon, and pomegranate and basil in 2016 and the pair now have up to 12 flavours, though cucumber and watermelon is most popular.

One of the sister's original flavours, pomegranate and basil
One of the sister’s original flavours, pomegranate and basil

You may have recognised Joyce and Raissa driving around London and parking their colourful campervan up in places like Southbank, Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Covent Garden.

Double Dutch hasn’t just proved to be a huge hit in London, but also in 40 other countries across the world. Next up is the USA, where the twins will be living for the next few months as they launch Double Dutch stateside.

Joyce and Raissa are well aware that the mixology industry is predominately male, so they created a bartender programme exclusively for 20 women.

You may have recognised Joyce and Raissa driving around London and parking their colourful campervan up in places like Southbank, Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Covent Garden
You may have recognised Joyce and Raissa driving around London and parking their colourful campervan up in places like Southbank, Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Covent Garden

The 12-week course has been a success so far and Raissa is looking forward to welcoming the next cohort in 2022.

She said: “So far it’s been really amazing and the feedback we’ve got from bartenders has been really positive. We’re probably relaunching it again next year for a new batch of female bartenders that we want to support – we’re driving that change ourselves.

“It feels really empowering, our industry is quite male-dominated, but I think it’s becoming a lot more inclusive and I think this is the right moment to make necessary change – we know we stand out against our male competition because we’re memorable.”

To find out where Double Dutch will be touring next, head online.

Have you got a story we should be covering? Contact Ruby at [email protected]


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