The Irish bar trade were out in force for the launch of one of the most highly-anticipated brand collaborations in the industry last Wednesday evening 8th March.

Alexander Hauck, the German founder of The Bitter Truth touched down in Dublin to team up with Ireland’s PJ Rigney, the founder of The Shed Distillery and the creator of the already iconic Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Both brands are represented in Ireland by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits.

Leading mixologists and bar owners from Dublin’s top cocktail and bar venues arrived in Zozimus and The Exchequer to attend one of Hauck’s two exclusive Masterclasses. Hauck showcased the intricate science and creativity behind merging flavours, creativity and learnings from the past century to create the ‘Michelin Star’ menu of modern-day cocktails.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin featuring oriental botanicals and Gunpowder tea was the star of the menu, the recipe of which was developed by PJ Rigney. Rigney had taken his inspiration from as far back the as the 7th Century Tang Dynasty when Gunpowder Tea was first discovered. He developed the final recipe for Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin from botanicals discovered on his many curious journeys through terra incognita across Europe, Africa and beyond.

The Bitter Truth brand was similarly developed to bring to life some of the most exhilarating tastes and flavours of the past in a modern context. The brand was invented by fellow barmen Alexander Hauck and Stephan Berg in 2006 following a conversation about how difficult it was to source high quality cocktail bitters in Germany. Both had extensive knowledge of the various forms of bitters, from their years in the industry, and Stephan owned a large collection of current and historical bitters, some of which hadn’t been produced for decades. Because of this, he knew how the most well-known bitters of the world tasted and was considered a specialist in this area. Their criteria for the choice of The Bitter Truth flavours was mainly provided by old cocktail recipes that could no longer be mixed true to the original because one crucial ingredient had been missing – the correct bitters.

Hauck has developed a series of cocktail recipes featuring the two super-premium brands, which have now been officially launched in Ireland. He also created two special edition The Bitter Truth cocktails featuring other iconic Dalcassian Wines & Spirits brands – Jeffersons Bourbon and Diplomatico Rum.

Dalcassian Wines & Spirits Managing Director John Dillon said Alexander Hauck’s visit to Ireland was representative of how sophisticated the Irish consumer has become: “The modern Irish consumer has extensive knowledge of the trends from across the world.  Their expectations are high and they are happy to spend on super-premium quality, flavours and recipes. Dalcassian Wines & Spirits has to stay ahead of the game and discover the latest brands and trends – and bring them to Ireland in a timely fashion. We’re delighted to represent brands like The Bitter Truth, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Diplomatico Rum and Jeffersons Bourbon.”

Garden & Tonic


Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur, The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters, Lemon Juice, Mint, Tonic Water.



Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur, Lazaroni Maraschino Liqueur, Lemon Juice.

Peach Old Fashioned


Jefferson’s Bourbon Whiskey, The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters, The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters, Sugar, Orange Zest.

Puka Beach Cocktail


Diplomatico Mantuano Rum, The Bitter Truth Golden Falernum, Lime Juice, The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters.