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Barware Basics: Cocktail Strainers

blog | 07/03/2019

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Any Mellow Moments Club member that’s had a birthday already this year has received a Hawthorne cocktail strainer. You might think that any strainer will do on your bar but not all strainers are created equal. A quality cocktail should both look and taste great and the cocktail strainer is a tool that can help you achieve both! If you’re following a recipe or if you’re making a drink on a whim, the Hawthorne strainer is an important tool to get that libation just right. Read on for some details on the three types of bar strainers, when to use the Hawthorne strainer, and our recipe recommendation.

  • The Julep strainer (pictured below) emerged in the mid-1800’s and was used as a precursor to the modern-day straw to keep ice from hitting the face of the Julep drinker.

  • The “fine-mesh strainer” (pictured below) is used to strain those tiny bits of ice or even fruit seeds from getting into the cocktail.

  • The Hawthorne strainer (pictured below), is commonly known as a “bar strainer,” this special tool is designed to keep the larger solid pieces out of the final drink.

The Hawthorne strainer is probably the most recognizable of the three bar strainers. It features a flat, perforated piece of metal which is lined with a flexible spring that catches ice and other solids. Named for a once-popular brand of bar strainer, the Hawthorne is the most popular type of cocktail strainer in both home and professional bartending. It is a great tool if you’re using a cocktail tin but, if you’re not, it can easily adapt to different size containers because of the flexible spring. It can be difficult to clean if you let it sit after using, so be sure to rinse it off immediately after use.

Test out your new strainer this week with our Cranberry Citrus cocktail and check out your fellow club members’ social posts featuring this handy tool below! To ensure you don’t miss out, let us know of any changes to your information here.

Cranberry Citrus

2 fl oz             Four Roses Single Barrel

2 fl oz              Orange Juice

½ fl oz             Cranberry Syrup

½ fl oz             Amaro Montenegro

2 dashes         Angostura Bitters

Combine the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds to chill the cocktail.
Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over ice. Place a fresh sprig of rosemary, speared cranberries and an orange wedge into the cocktail.

The image on the left is courtesy of @thebourbonbadger on Instagram who called us a “class act” for this birthday gift. The image on the right is courtesy of @whiskeycurator on Instagram who also thanked us for the birthday gift.

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