Only 22 years young, he’s just graduated from HAS University in “Food Innovation” and Luuk already has his own business. Pearl is an innovative cocktail concept; a cocktail, but in the form of a pearl. In addition to his own company, Luuk is available as a photographer and concept / product developer. He is creative, enthusiastic and creates clean-looking concepts. We happily invited him to the Spirited Union Distillery for a Distilling class and asked him to share his experiences.

Luuk van der Rijt

Botanical Rum Distilling Class

March 2020

“The workshop is actually suitable for everyone! It is a fun and interesting activity. It’s great to do with friends, also great for people who care less about alcohol or who don’t necessarily understand it.”

I never really plan workshops, outings or activities like this for myself. In my spare time I do a lot of social media and photography, both for myself and for my own company. I really liked that you invited me, it was super nice to participate in a workshop and make my own spirit.

I came to Amsterdam by car, with my girl friend. It was easily accessible with enough space to park. I also saw that it is also easily accessible by public transport. Just a short easy walk from the station.

The distilling workshop suited my interests very well, because I also do a lot of drinks and cocktails for my own company. It was very interesting for me to learn a little more about the production and the distillation process.

Luuk van der Rijt Distilling Class

“You really don’t have to be a spirit or rum lover to like this. The nice thing is that you can give your own flavor to the rum, so you create something you like.”

There is always a drink you’ll enjoy with your own homemade rum, it is easy to mix with something so that is no problem. When I see this bottle in the cupboard I think; oh yes, super cool. I distilled my own rum, with which I can now make a nice cocktail!

The great thing about this Distilling class is that you really get something concrete to take home, something I’ve never seen anywhere else or at any workshops. What appealed to me most? I think it’s great that you offer the workshops in combination with the brand.

“You immediately get an idea about who is behind the company, I immediately felt a personal connection. That is great fun and you make people personally involved with the brand.”

Upon entering I noticed that everything was very neat inside, it looked well cared for, also nice that everything was ready. The botanicals, stills and other supplies. My first impression was good; it was neat and tidy, nice to enter.

I was not really sure what to expect from the distillation room and the production itself, so it was nice to first get some background information about the distillation process, the history of rum and the difference between fermentation and distillation. This also gives you an idea of ​​what you will actually be doing during the Distilling Class. Often this is forgotten at workshops, but it is important to know.

After the tour we did a tasting session to taste your different products, very nice. You learn to taste really well, I also had sensory skills during my training so I found it very interesting to smell, taste and recognize the different notes in the rums.

Have you ever tried making your own spirit?

You can join a distilling class in the distillery and create your own bottle of booze

Botanical Rum Distilling workshop
Botanical Distillates in Distillery
Personalized Botanical Rum Distilling workshop

“You had a wide choice of different and unique botanicals.”

Before the workshop I had already delved into what flavors I wanted in my rum. I really wanted roses through it, and green tea seemed very nice to make it a bit fresher and softer. I had brought these botanicals myself, great that I could. I saw that these flavors did not exist in a rum yet and I wanted to make something unique.

I used lemongrass which seemed a good addition to the rum. Whenever I asked if a certain ingredient was available, even more was brought out for me to use! I had my recipe ready pretty quickly, I had in mind what would taste well together.

Enough guidance was given, fortunately it was not very difficult to distil. It was quite a relaxing activity but you have to keep a close eye, otherwise things start to flow over.

“It is a beautiful bottle, which is nice to have in the cupboard and great that you can really make something with it.”

The distillation took a while, you have to wait until the distillate finally starts to run, but I wasn’t bored for a moment. We were also given a great cocktail.

I was constantly busy and it was a really pleasant afternoon. When I got home I felt like I’d had a good day out. Very successful!

Everything was well organized and well prepared. There was plenty of information and the best part is of course the delicious bottle of homemade rum that you get to take home!

I’ve created a super tasty rum. When I open the bottle, the aromas of green tea and roses immediately meet me. It is really nice that I can make my own cocktail with my homemade spirit. I’m going to experiment with it a bit, but I’m looking forward to serving a great drink with it.