“Pineut” is an innovative, likker related concept from the Netherlands. Femke and Marlies, founders of “Pineut”, sell bottles pre-packed with herbs. Just add the alcohol yourself, and you can now make your own liqueur. With some patience, off course. Time to find out more? Yes, time for an interview!
Who are you? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
We are Femke van der Kuijp and Marlies van Iterson. Together we started “Pineut” two years ago. “Pineut” makes “do-it-yourself”-liqueurs. Just buy the bottle, which we pre-filled with the exact amount of herbs, given the specific recipe. Now add the alcohol, shake daily, add some patience, and your liqueur is ready!
How did you get interested in strong alcoholic beverages?
We both love to cook, have a drink while cooking, and then experiment with tastes. Making liqueurs allows you to investigate taste in many directions. Also, the long history of liqueurs is an inspiration to us. That’s how our love for making our own drinks was born.
How did you get the genius idea to sell bottles with pre-filled herbs, instead of having to go through all the trouble of selling (and accounting for) alcohol?
Haha! Yeah, it took us a while to come up with the right formula! Selling ready to drink liqueurs is difficult, since one needs all kinds of licenses. To allow you to make alcohol, to allow you to use alcohol, and to allow you to sell it. A big hassle!
Also, we found out we actually loved to see a liqueur develop. The slow process of herbs maceration. The drink picking up taste, smell, and colour … A very nice experience for us, and – so we thought – a very nice experience for others, for customers. After that conclusion, it didn’t take more than a day to work out a business formula, where our customers could also be part of that great process of making your own. We developed a start-up package. With fresh and pure ingredients. Without preservatives.
Testing out new recipees must be fun. Please enlighten us on how that works!
We explicitely look for tastes that combine well. We dial in the season, like “are we looking for a summer refreshment?” or for “a warm drink on a cold winter’s eve”? We also ask ourselves on what occasions people would want to drink their liqueurs. On their birthday, Christmass, maybe on holidays? We take it from there and try to find a herbs bill that matches.
As a next step, we make a few different try-out recipes and let them settle for 4 to 6 weeks. After that, with the help of our permanent test pannel, we evaluate the outcomes and decide what approach, what herbs bill best suits the goals we were after. The test sessions … are nice. Lots of fun and sometimes very surprizing outcomes!
What markets do you target?
We currently distribute “Pineut” products in the Netherlands and in Belgium.
Any interest in opening up other markets, to really go international?
That’s the goal for 2015, Odin!
I myself love “genever” or Dutch Gin. What herbs bill or which one of your products would you advise me to take?
We’d advise you to try out our “Heilig Neutje” (“Holy Shot”), with all the herbs and spices used in medicinal Dutch gins over the last centuries. Both nice and healthy, both spicey and smooth.
You may also try our “Klaar voor een Kus” (“Ready for a Kiss”). A fresh liqueur with eucalypt, mint, tyme and lemon, based on a 17th century recipe. At that time, tooth paste was non-existent. So when people wanted to kiss, they first took a drink, they first had a glass of “Ready for a Kiss”!
Pineut do-it-yourself liqueurs …
Ready for a kiss … ?
Tasting session with Femke and Marlies …