Owning the cocktail

06 June, 2018

‘Old’ De Kuyper exports 14 brands to 100 countries. De Witte is now in phase two of his three-phase game plan for the company. The strategy going for-ward is to distill down to five brands in the company’s top 10 countries –Rutte, De Kuyper, Mandarine Napoleon Peachtree and now Peter Heering. There is also Bébo 100% Arabica coffee liqueur from Cuba and Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, the bergamot peel, cedro lemons, chamomile, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and Melissa balm liqueur. De Witte has also formed an ‘advocacy specialist’ division called Cooper & Barrel to train bartenders and promote the use of the company brands in the process.

“The vision is to ‘own the cocktail’ – every time people think about cocktails, De Kuyper should come to their minds.” His mission statement for the company is: “We will change our products to match the role they play in the cocktails.”

To that end a complete relaunch of the core De Kuyper liqueur range has just been unveiled. Before embarking on this, De Witte commissioned research to try to identify who is making and drinking what in cocktails.

It identified two ranges. Essentials comprises: Margarita (triple sec), Blue Lagoon (blue curaçao), Kir Royale (crème de cassis), Grasshopper (crème de menthe green/crème de cacao white), Espresso Martini (crème de café) and Amaretto Sour (amaretto).

The Variations range consists of: Margarita variations (watermelon and strawberry), Mojito (passion fruit and blueberry mojitos), Fizz (melon, watermelon and mango), Daiquiri (banana and melon), Martini (grapefruit and passion fruit) and Spritz (strawberry, mango and water melon).


The bottom line is: “Think cocktail, think also about De Kuyper.” De Witte says: “There’s still a long way to go. It’s all coming together, we are on track”

So what does he do to relax? “Skiing, running, tennis, golf. And I love travelling, discovering the world – especially Asia and the Caribbean,” he replies.

And what does he like to drink, other than De Kuyper products?

“Wine: Rioja and Barolo, Chardonnay for white. Spirits: Rutte Old Simon genever (spotted – that’s DeK). Beer: Grolsch.” His first drink? Martini vermouth at a friend’s birthday party. Aged 16.

Looking back, what is De Witte most proud of? “The successful European launch of Grey Goose and the creation of Bacardi’s Global Legacy Competition,” he says.

In conclusion, he says: “I am happy with my achievements and my life business-wise. I want to conclude the successful business transformation at De Kuyper and leave a legacy.”

Asked what would be on his epitaph, he replies “Lived and enjoyed to the max – felt privileged.”

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.