What Are The Different Types Of Cocktail Strainers?

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Have you ever wondered why your favorite cocktail tastes different when you make it at home? Besides the quality of the ingredients, the type of cocktail strainer you use can make a big difference in the taste and texture of your drink. Cocktail strainers are essential tools for any bartender or cocktail enthusiast. They help to separate the solid ingredients from the liquid, ensuring a smooth and well-mixed cocktail. But did you know that there are different types of cocktail strainers available on the market?

From the classic Hawthorne strainer to the innovative Julep strainer, each type of cocktail strainer has its own unique features and benefits. In this article, we explore the different types of cocktail strainers and help you choose the right one for your home bar or professional setting. Whether you are a novice or an expert mixologist, understanding the different types of cocktail strainers will take your bartending skills to the next level.


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What Is A Cocktail Strainer?

Cocktail strainers are a crucial tool for any professional bartender. They allow you to easily pour your a mixed drink into a cocktail glass while keeping out unwanted bits of fruit and other large particles. Since the best bars are creating more and more complex quality cocktails with more ingredients, the strainer has become more important than ever in the world of mixology. Whether you need to separate your liquid from ice cubes, herbs, or pulp, strainers ensure your customers’ glasses do not get clogged up, leaving them with a smooth drinking experience. 

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Why Should Cocktails Be Strained?

Straining cocktails is an essential and often forgotten part of the drink-making process. Not only does it create a visually appealing presentation, it also helps to fully enhance the flavor and quality of a mixed drink. Straining alters the texture and mouthfeel of a cocktail and helps separate liquid ingredients from solids such as ice, citrus seeds, or muddled fruit and herbs. This ensures that none of that matter ends up floating around in your glass.

Additionally, straining cocktails can help prevent over-dilution by keeping certain ingredients in their individual forms as opposed to completely blending them together. Bartenders shake or stir cocktails not just to chill them but to dilute them as well; excess water from melted ice can water down your cocktail if it isn’t strained properly. It’s certainly clear why bartenders should take proper steps to ensure all drinks are served clear with no trace of pieces floating around in the glass. Straining allows for a better taste and overall appreciation for the complexity of any given favorite whiskey sour or mojito mix.

How To Use A Cocktail Strainer 

A cocktail strainer is an essential tool for any bartender or mixologist, and it is used to remove ice and other solid ingredients from a cocktail as the drink is poured into the serving glass. To use a cocktail strainer, the drink maker places it over the mouth of the mixing container, such as a shaker or pitcher, that holds all of the cocktail ingredients. The strainer has small holes that only allow liquid to pass through and trap ice in the mixer. A skilled use of a cocktail strainer is usually required for bartending certification so it’s important to practice this technique.

Types Of Cocktail Strainers 

When discussing cocktail strainers, there are a variety of types available. With so many options ranging from simple metal models to more intricate designs made specifically for different uses, there’s sure to be something right for every bartender’s needs! Here is a brief breakdown of the three most common types of strainers. 

Traditional Hawthorne Strainer

The Hawthorne strainer is a classic tool for any cocktail aficionado and is arguably the most popular type of strainer. This essential piece of barware has been used to make everything from mint juleps to the ultimate martini since its inception. A traditional Hawthorne strainer, also known as a coil spring strainer, consists of a tight coil with several rings around it that helps keep ice or any other solid ingredients out of your drink while you pour.  This traditional device is an absolute must-have in any home bartender’s arsenal. 

The Tea Strainer

The tea strainer is made from stainless steel and consists of two parts: the built-in strainer which looks like a bowl-shaped cup of mesh and a piece of metal with a handle attached to it. It’s designed to be placed on the top of a shaker or glass, allowing liquid ingredients to pass through while leaving behind any unwanted pieces.

This is an ideal strainer for novice home bartenders who want a quick and easy solution to straining unwanted ingredients from their drinks. Moreover, since the tea strainer is also used for tea, juices, and other liquids, most people already have some version of a tea strainer in their homes. This means you do not have to invest in any additional cocktail equipment, making it an ideal option for your at-home cocktail mixes. 

The Julep Cup Strainer

The Julep cup strainer is a piece of equipment used for double-straining cocktails in the same way that coffee filters strain out grinds. This type of strainer is usually made from metal or brass and has a wider top with holes, making it ideal for keeping citrus pulps, herbs, spices, and ice chips away from your cocktail mixers. It’s popular among both cocktail apprentices as well as experienced bartenders looking to create delicious drinks.

Cocktail historians point to the use of this type of cocktail drink strainer going back centuries ago when people needed an effective way to smoothen their drinks. The design has been copied by modern-day manufacturers who make them available in different shapes and sizes. Nowadays, many enthusiasts have adopted this tool into their arsenal of bar tools due to its convenience.

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What To Do If You Don’t Have A Strainer

Straining a drink can often be difficult without the use of a strainer, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. There are a few different methods that can help strain liquids without the need for a strainer. One option is to use a slotted spoon. The slots in the spoon allow the liquid to run through while keeping particles such as ice shards and other debris back. Another method would be to use cheesecloth. This thin fabric will let the liquid pass through while trapping anything solid on one side. Lastly, using a coffee filter or other fine vessel is an option for those who don’t have access to any of the above-mentioned tools. 

Invest In A Bar Inventory App 

If you own a bar or restaurant, investing in an inventory management app is a must. Not only does it allow for accurate and efficient inventory tracking which reduces the risk of stock shortages or overstocking, but it also leads to significant cost savings. Moreover, an app such as the Rapid Bar App generates real-time reports on sales, inventory levels and other important metrics that provide managers with integral insight into the performance of their business. 

The Rapid Bar App is designed to make your bar inventory tasks as simple and as streamlined as possible as it removes the likelihood of human error and ensures you never run out of ingredients. Thanks to our seamless integration with different POS systems, your data is instantly recorded in the app, which allows you to order directly from suppliers when you’re running low on inventory.

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