On Wednesday, 2nd October, Varenka ‘Vee’ Guillermoprieto from The Social in Southampton was crowned the Evolution of Tonic winner at the inaugural nationwide cocktail competition from award-winning UK premium mixer brand Double Dutch.
The challenge for the eight finalists at the Radio Rooftop bar at the ME Hotel was to create a cocktail that demonstrated ‘The Evolution of Tonic’ using a minimum of 100ml of any of Double Dutch’s nine complex and flavourful mixers.
Vee’s ‘Double Nymph’ cocktail perfectly reflected the molecular gastronomy and careful balance of flavours behind Double Dutch flavoured tonics. Homemade rosebud and chamomile gin, Italicus and Butterfly Pea Flower tea was mixed with Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil in a scientific dual neck bottle.
Other stand-out competitors included runner-up Paul Minea from The Leafy Elephant, Wokingham, who used sea salt and lavender bubbles to flavour his gin and Double Dutch tonic cocktail, serving it in a foaming floral bathtub.
An illustrious panel including Raissa and Joyce de Haas, co-founders of Double Dutch, Financial Times columnist, Alice Lascelles, and Bar Chick founder, Hannah Grace-Lodge, were tasked with judging the eight cocktails not only on taste, technical skills and presentation, but the story behind the drink. Vee was awarded first prize of a trip for two to Amsterdam including travel and 4-star accommodation.
On the subject of the Awards, co-founder of Double Dutch, Raissa de Haas commented: “It’s great to see such a pool of talent in the UK when it comes to mixology and we are committed to supporting the industry. We tasted some visionary serves, and it was a delight to see our tonics used in such creative and innovative flavour pairings. We look forward to next year’s competition and seeing the continued evolution of tonic.”
About Double Dutch
Co-founded by twin sisters Raissa and Joyce de Hass, Double Dutch is an innovative brand offering a unique range of tonics and mixers that are both a refreshing soft drink and a lively mixer for the most complex of cocktails. All the Double Dutch flavours in the nine-strong range are created through the process of molecular gastronomy which results in unique, counter-intuitive and delicious flavour combinations. Double Dutch is currently the only brand using this technique to enhance rather than mask the taste of spirits.
The collection includes flavourful tonics such as ‘Cucumber & Watermelon’, ‘Pomegranate & Basil’ and ‘Cranberry & Ginger’, as well as a premium ‘Skinny Tonic Water’, ‘Soda Water’, ‘Ginger Ale’ and ‘Ginger Beer’. Double Dutch is currently stocked in high-profile bars and restaurants across the UK and is available nationwide via online retailers including Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon.
Joyce and Raissa have grown their London-based business to sell over half a million bottles per month to 25 countries around the world including the US and Singapore. The brand aims to become carbon neutral and has recently opened new production plants in South Africa and the Netherlands with a vision to significantly grow internationally.