Please introduce yourself – what does your start-up do and what is special about your business idea?

“Einviertel” is a bio certified, vegan basil lemonade drink that does not contain any industrial sugar. It is sweetened with agave syrup and only has 25 kcal per 100ml.

We named our start-up “einviertel” because our product caters to the “drink-up trend” in Berlin: where you drink up one quarter (in German: ein Viertel, 1/4) of the mixer, and refill that fourth with 3cl Gin creating a delicious longdrink comparable to a Gin Basil Smash. Hashtag: #whoneedsglasses.

In this sense, we have made a product ideal for the Berlin market. It encourages conscious drinking, has a unique taste, and quenches thirst.

How did you come up with the concept?

We came up with the idea in a bar in Berlin after a number of Gin Basil Smash drinks; we asked ourselves why no basil based soft drink that can be used to mix with gin exists on the market.

I was always a fan of  the “Vodka Mate idea”; where you fill the first sip of the bottle with alcohol. Additionally, with the einviertel concept the drink is kept safe through the function of our twisty lock-cap. The concept creates less effort for the bartender and ultimately produces a unique and delicious long drink.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome on your start-up journey?

Understanding the beverage industry; it was a challenge to understand the way in which the deposit systems work, and how to declare them.

And where do you see the start-up in five years?

In five years we plan to have established our brand “einviertel” as part of one of the major trends in the food and beverage industry and high-end retail sale. We hope to place an additional three unique flavours on the market and see the steady growth of our products.

What are your expectations from the NX-FOOD program?

We think the program will give us the opportunity to expand the awareness of our product beyond the Berlin market. Hopefully it will  help us enter Hamburg’s trendy bar and restaurant scene. Additionally, it gives us the opportunity to place our product more permanently on METRO Cash & Carry shelves which would be great.


Leonie Schwahn is the founder of einviertel