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Cocktail Strainer

You may be thinking: “A bar strainer? What am I supposed to do with it?” and these questions are not so unfounded. Many people do not know what the bar strainer is used for, yet cocktails are not the same without this bar accessory. Every shaken cocktail (such as Mai Tai, Black Russian, Daiquiri, Moscow Mule or Whisky Sour) needs a bar strainer so that no unwanted ingredients get into the drink. Together with the bar spoon, the cocktail shaker and the jigger, the bar strainer is part of the basic equipment of every professional and hobby bar.

The areas of application of the bar strainer

The bar strainer is always used when a cocktail is shaken. After shaking, the contents of the shaker are strained into a glass. All the “residue” remains in the cocktail shaker and does not get into the glass.

In addition, the ice from the shaker should not enter the glass. This is exactly the moment when the bar strainer comes into play. This strainer is placed on the cocktail shaker filled with a liquid. Then the shaker is tilted so that the liquid runs into the glass. The strainer catches all the ice cubes and any other residue in the shaker.

cocktail Strainer

Strainer types

Hawthorne Strainer

The Hawthorne Strainer is the best known and most widely used version of the bar strainer. This strainer has a flexible wire spiral that adapts perfectly to the opening of the cocktail shaker. This prevents ice and other ingredients from getting into the glass/tumbler. With so-called cobber shakers, a strainer is integrated directly into the shaker lid. Here you do not need an additional Hawthrone Strainer.

Julep Strainer

The Julep Strainer looks a little different from the Hawthorne Strainer, but it works the same way. The Julep Strainer looks like a large spoon with small holes. This spoon is held in the shaker when straining a cocktail, so that only the liquid and no ice or other ingredients can run into the glass.

This bar strainer is called a julep strainer because it was often used in the 19th century for drinking the mint julep. This cocktail is not actually shaken, but the strainer was used to keep the crushed ice and mint in the glass.

History of the strainers

The use of bar strainers became established in the American bartending scene at the end of the 19th century. At that time, however, almost exclusively julep strainers, i.e. the large, perforated spoons, were used. Hawthorne Strainers did not become established until much later. In 1889, the strainer was invented and patented by the American Charles P. Lindley. However, the name “Hawthrone Strainer” only became established at the end of the 1970s.

Various cocktail ideas

The strainer is actually used in every cocktail that is shaken in a Boston Shaker. These include drinks such as the Singapore Sling, Daiquiri, Margarita, Sidecar, Zombie Cocktail, Bloody Mary or Whisky Sour. Mix your favourite cocktail and enjoy the drinks!

Strainer FAQ

What is a bar strainer?

A bar strainer is an essential bar accessory that can be used in the preparation of virtually any cocktail. The strainer retains the ice in the shaker or mixing glass and the drink can be poured into a glass with new, fresh ice.

Where can you buy the bar accessories?

A bar strainer is best bought or ordered online. You usually have the largest selection of bar accessories online and can have them delivered to your home. This saves you time and you can compare prices online.

For which cocktails do you need a strainer?

A strainer is used for every cocktail and mocktail that is not prepared directly in the glass. The strainer is held either over the opening of the shaker or into the mixing glass so that the ice cubes and other unwanted ingredients used cannot slide into the glass with them.

What is the difference between a Hawthorne Strainer and a Julep Strainer?

The Hawthrone Strainer is the more familiar strainer of the two. It can be individually applied to a shaker or a mixing glass thanks to a flexible steel spiral. A julep strainer, on the other hand, looks more like a spoon with holes that is held in the shaker or mixing glass before the liquid is strained.