Let these bar babes take the strain! It’s “pure” bar tending! No mixologist would lay out a bar set without their Cocktail Strainers – also known as Bar Strainers. Whether preparing a classic recipe or mixing freestyle, your choice of Bar Strainer makes all the difference to achieving cocktail perfection!
When putting the final touches to your cocktail, you will always turn to your trusty bar strainer to remove solid materials from the liquid. It’s typically used just after a drink has been shaken or stirred to remove the ice, fruit or other unwanted items from the finished cocktail.
There are three distinct types of Bar Strainer for performing different but always essential actions:
- The Hawthorne
- The Julep
- Fine Mesh
Faster, flexible cool-look bar strainer
The Hawthorne Strainer – named after its original use at a bar called The Hawthorne – is inexpensive, can adapt to fit most different size mixing tins, and is generally the most popular type of cocktail strainer. Designed in attractive but practical stainless steel with a flexible spring, it also has four stabilising prongs to fit neatly into standard shakers and mixing glasses.
The Hawthorn can remove ice and other solid ingredients, and is ideal for fruit based cocktails, martinis or shots. Experienced bartenders tend to feel the Hawthorne Strainer is also their ultimate flexible friend for faster, cool-look cocktail straining!
Another great version – the Calabrese Strainer – was developed by Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s leading bartenders, a bestselling author and a past president of the UK Bartenders’ Guild. The Calabrese – made from high grade, polished Japanese steel, and available in eye-catching gold or copper plate, can sit inside a tin to hold the ice back and allow a ‘clean pour’ from the shaker rim. Always a moment of ‘pure’ delight for cocktail lovers!
Ideal bar strainer for cocktail glass or smaller tin
The Julep Strainer – which first appeared in the mid-19th century – is a large, perforated spoon shape, designed for working over a cocktail glass, and of course, is key to serving iconic bourbon cocktail, Mint Julep.
With this bar set tool at your fingertips, you are always prepared to strain ice, fruit, herbs and seeds from your mint juleps! Once placed over the glass, pressure can be easily and safely applied! Although not seen as frequently, the Julep Strainer is durable, easy to control, and considered a great choice for beginners to simply use with a mixing glass or smaller mixing tin.
Fine mesh bar strainer of last resort
The Fine-Mesh Strainer – is your strainer of last resort! There can be times when neither a Hawthorne nor a Julep strainer is able to remove every last tiny particle or ice chip. A quick second pass through the Fine Mesh Strainer ensures you will achieve the ultimate smooth drink experience your cocktail deserves to be!
Available in a variety of handy sizes, you simply hold the fine mesh strainer directly beneath the first strainer to achieve the required smooth filter. It’s no surprise that mesh strainers are both inexpensive and easily obtainable as they are often used to strain tea leaf preparations.
Adding one, two or all three to your bar set collection, you’re sure to quickly master a variety of cocktail straining skills!