Deshler Cocktail

Bitters are a hot topic here on Small Screen. Many of our viewers have written in with various questions about bitters and their use. In this episode, Robert addresses a question from Ian about the interchangeability of bitters and then makes a forgotten classic that is a variation on the Manhattan Cocktail, the Deshler.


1 1/2 oz rye whiskey

1 oz Dubonett

1/4 oz Cointreu

2 dashes Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

large orange zest

large lemon zest


Stir all ingredients with ice.

Strain into a cocktail coupe.

Garnish with an orange twist.


Adam G 15 Aug 2013
3:04 pm

Hey Robert, I’m loving the new episodes, and the viewer questions. This looks delicious; it’s too bad I put myself on a diet recently, so I can’t drink for the time being :(

One thing though: I noticed you mentioned that bitters are classified as non-potable, while showing the Bitter Truth bottle. But I thought I heard at some point that Bitter Truth brand bitters, despite being cocktail bitters, are actually legally classified as potable for some technical reason. Is this so, or is it just an urban legend?

Robert Hess 15 Aug 2013
5:05 pm

I suppose I should have been a little more specific :->... bitters are “typically” classified as non-potable. This puts them into a different tax bracket and I believe also simplifies some of the hoops they need to jump through to get onto store shelves.

If I remember correctly, The Bitter Truth folks weren’t aware of this strange US issue, and didn’t bother getting their bitters listed as non-potable. Which they then weren’t able to do after the fact… so instead they brought out a specific line for the US “Berg and Haucks” (


Adam 17 Aug 2013
5:57 am

I’ll admit that bitters on their own can be hard to stomach, but I’d implore you to look through Beta Cocktails for some progressive, but genuinely tasty cocktails with bitters as either a base or a main ingredient.

Ben N 23 Aug 2013
5:18 pm

Great to have some new videos; I was hoping some new ones would show up soon!

Just a quick question: are julep strainers supposed to be a certain size? I have the same mixing glass as you in this video, but the julep strainer I have does not fit nicely like yours. I suppose I could buy a new strainer, as they’re fairly cheap, but I don’t want to buy another one that’s too small. Thanks for any insight!

Robert Hess 24 Aug 2013
11:33 pm


Your comment regarding julep strainers “I suppose I could buy a new strainer, as they’re fairly cheap” strikes me sadly as funny. There was a time where simply “finding” a julep strainer was cause for celebration! :->

But I hear your frustration, while you might hope that there were a standardized size for all such products, there is in fact not. In the same way that shaker tins aren’t necessarily the same size, even some pint glasses have “just enough” difference in their size to make it confusing.

When we were first locating julep strainers, there was the notion of the one with the “diamond” hole in the handle, and the “round” hole. One fit well in the standard pint glass, the other, not so well. I unfortunately at the moment can’t remember which was which.

A similar problem can also be seen in buying a standard tin, and smaller tin which fit together. Rarely are they sold specifically in sets that are “designed” to fit together, so it can often feel like you are rolling the dice.

Personally, I think the julep strainers for sale on are probably of the best quality, and I know that they are sized to properly fit their mixing glasses… however, even there it can be hard to understand “which” mixing glasses they fit properly, in addition to a few different sizes of mixing tins, they also have a few different sizes of mixing glasses now as well.

I will also point out that in my video here I am using a Cocktail Kingdom mixing glass (and jiggers, and glassware :->) but the julep strainer is not (note the “diamond” hold in the handle, and not the “crown”), you might also barely notice that I struggled just a little bit to get the julep strainer to actually fit properly. It was a tad tight.

What sort of hole is in the handle of your julep strainer?


Ben N 12 Sep 2013
5:39 pm

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the in-depth reply! It’s unfortunate that there aren’t standard sizes for these things. The julep strainer I have was purchased at Sur La Table:

I think I found an okay method for using this strainer on my Cocktail Kingdom mixing glass. But, I may take a look at Cocktail Kingdom’s strainers.

Post a Comment

You must be registered and logged in to post comments.

Login to Comment register new account

remember me