Making cocktails with a Henkelman vacuum machine

Can I vacuum-pack liquids? Discover the benefits of a Henkelman vacuum packing machine at our ambassador Dutch Courage. Dutch Courage is Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse's cocktail bar on Amsterdam's Zeedijk 12. The bar is an ode to gin and old Dutch liqueurs, combining 150 different gins with a wide range of gin cocktails. Especially for Henkelman, they have developed the Dutch Courage Henkelman Cocktail.

Henkelman vacuum packing machine in a cocktail bar

Tess is bartender en freelance hospitality professional. Ze reist de hele wereld rond en bezit samen met Timo twee bars in Amsterdam: Flying Dutchmen Cocktails & Dutch Courage, waar zij en hun team de lekkerste cocktails mixen, terwijl ze zich richten op het opbouwen van een echte cocktailcultuur in Nederland. Timo heeft in zijn carrière meer dan 600.000 cocktails gemaakt. Als voormalig en allereerste barmanager van Door 74 vanaf 2008 heeft hij vele prijzen ontvangen, waaronder de enige Nederlandse bar die OOIT is genomineerd bij Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans voor zowel de beste nieuwe cocktailbar als de beste internationale bar. 

Dutch Courage

Talking to Tess and Timo


How did the idea of starting a cocktail bar come about?

Tess: Timo and I know each other from Door 74, a bar with international fame and one of the best bars according to the world rankings. Timo was manager there and I started there as a part-time job. My love for cocktails grew quickly, Timo and I quickly found each other. After nine years, we were ready to do something for ourselves. We did a lot of consulting for other bars, but setting up our own concept that we fully support was our big dream, then we could really perfect it as we had in mind.

We were already planning to open Dutch Courage, but at the last minute, the building we had in mind for this was cancelled. Then we opened our other bar Flying Dutchmen Cocktails and had to put aside the dream for Dutch Courage for a while. On 6 August 2020, Dutch Courage was finally officially opened. Dutch Courage is a cocktail bar focusing on gin and old Dutch liqueurs. I have a sociology background with a huge passion for history, so the history of liqueurs and gin was quickly apparent. Jenever is one of the oldest drinks in the world, and the Netherlands has traditionally (since 1600) been the world's leading liqueur country. 

Where does the name Dutch Courage come from?

Tess: This dates back to the 80-year war, when the Dutch fought on the Belgian border against the Spanish. At that time, English mercenaries were often hired, often paid in part by the Dutch with gin. The Dutch soldiers often took a few sips of the gin ration in the morning to take the sharp edge off, this was called 'liquid courage'. The English were amazed at the guts of the Dutch soldiers, and because they fought together, the Dutch soldiers shared their secret: a few sips of gin. So it came about that Dutch Courage is now a common saying for courage. Upon returning to England, the English also tried to make gin, this eventually became the origin of Gin.

How did you deal with the Covid-19 situation?

Tess: During the first wave, we tried many things, which we later tried to expand. For instance, we had a webshop where we sold cocktails delivered by post. We also offered online cocktail workshops for companies or other groups, where all the ingredients were sent by post and the workshop was conducted via Zoom. We got a lot of great feedback on this! We sent all cocktails and ingredients vacuum-packed, so that the taste and shelf life remained optimal and leakage during shipment was prevented. Our cocktails had a shelf life of no less than 10 days after dispatch. We also offered a subscription service, where people received three different cocktails in the mail every week, including information about the cocktails. 

The Henkelman Boxer 35 in use

Tess: We use the Henkelman Boxer 35 vacuumpack machine daily, including for packaging our homemade syrups. These have a much longer shelf life and the vacuum bags take up less space in our storage, refrigerator and freezer than, say, containers or bottles.

And we really use the vacuumpack machine non-stop for packing our To-go cocktails. We pack the garnishes first, and then the liquid above the seal in the same bag, so the customer gets all the essentials for a cocktail in 1 package.

Many bars still work without a vacuumpack machine, which is a real shame. It pays for itself very quickly because you have less waste, can purchase and store much more efficiently and now, with our webshop, a perfect tool to package your to-go cocktails. We are very excited about the marinade function on the Henkelman vacuumpack machine, which allows us to be very creative with infusing different flavours, as we show in the recipe for the special Henkelman cocktail. The liquid control function is also extremely useful, as it prevents liquids from boiling over and entering the machine.

Henkelman Boxer 35 _ Ambassador Dutch Courage

Recept Henkelman Cocktail

Tess and Timo created a special cocktail for Henkelman, here's the recipe to make one yourself!

Recipe Dutch Courage Henkelman Cocktail 
45 ml Bols Barrel Aged gin 
20 ml pineapple juice with cinnamon 
10 ml Old Dutch 'Kraamanijs' liqueur 
10 ml lime juice 
5 ml lemon & orange oleosaccharum

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Pour through a fine sieve into a pre-chilled martini glass. Garnish with a dried pineapple slice infused with 'Blue Curacao' liqueur.

Ingredients prepared with our Henkelman vacuumpack machine: 1. cinnamon-soaked pineapple juice: marinade function. 2. lemon & orange oleo saccharum: lemon & orange peels with sugar, vacuum-packed. The sugar extracts the oils from the citrus peels and turns them into an oil-rich syrup. 3. Garnish with dried pineapple with 'Blue Curacao' liqueur: marinade feature and dried in a food dehydrator.

Dutch Courage Henkelman Cocktail