Which Cocktail Strainer is best?

What is a Cocktail Strainer?

Simply put, a cocktail strainer is a bartending tool used to filter out solid materials (such as ice and fruit seeds) from the liquid in the making of a drink. Also known as a bar strainer, the cocktail strainer is typically used after a drink has been shaken or stirred to remove the ice, fruit or other solids that shouldn’t find their way into the resulting cocktail.

Types of Cocktail Strainers

There are three primary types of cocktails strainers but which cocktail strainer is best? the Hawthorne Strainer, the fine mesh strainer and the Julep strainer. Each strainer has its own advantages and disadvantages, it really depends on what type of cocktail you are putting together:


Hawthorne Strainer

Covered in our History of the Hawthorne blog and properly the most recognisable strainer, the Hawthorne strainer 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.The Hawthorne strainer has both strengths and weaknesses depending on your situation, including:

Cocktail strainer is best
– Fit in almost all Mixing Tins
– Can adapt to different sizes
– Inexpensive

Also worth considering are comfort, durability and ease of cleaning – all further strengths of the Hawthorne design.


Professional Strainer

The professional strainer is a version of the hawthorne design, as you will see below. Here at Beaumont we have been manufacturing and supplying barware for many, many years and over that time we have realised that the Hawthorne strainer, as good as it is, could do with a few little tweaks. So working with bartenders and industry professionals we came up with the professional strainer. With a higher quality finish, a different ‘ear’ design, and a superior spring for finer straining the Professional Strainer would always be our choice.

which strainer is best

Julep Strainer

As covered in our ‘Behind the Julep Cup & Julep Strainer‘ blog, the Julep Strainer emerged in the mid-1800s to help cocktail enthusiasts avoid a face full of ice when enjoying their Mint Julep. Believe it or not, the Julep Strainer can be considered the precursor to today’s drink straw.With a bowl-shaped cup perforated with small hole and has a long handle, the Julep Strainer is designed to be easily held over a mixing glass. Once placed over the glass, the strainer is held with the help of a depression when the bartender can apply pressure with their finger.

Although it’s not seen as frequently, the Julep Strainer is a good for most applications:

cocktail strainer is best
– Better fit for Mixing Glasses
– Durable
– Easy to clean


Fine Mesh Strainer

No matter if you use a Hawthorne Strainer or a Julep Strainer, sometimes you need a little extra help and that’s where a fine mesh strainer comes in handy. Small shards of ice, bits of fruit and other solids can find their way past these strainers, so an additional filter is necessary. Any cocktail that needed to be double strained would require this additional strainer to either a Hawthorne or Julep. Available in multiple sizes, fine mesh cocktail strainers are typically held directly beneath the first strainer to achieve the proper filtration. Originally adapted from tea making, this particular strainer is a mainstay behind almost every bar today:
cocktail strainer is best

Hawthorne Strainer vs. Julep Strainer

There’s always been some debate about which is better, the Hawthorne Strainer or the Julep Strainer. In our opinion it’s not much of a question; while each has its strengths and weaknesses, cocktail strainers are so inexpensive that you should buy one of each. However, if you’ve got to pick only one it will depend on your situation:


Julep Strainer for the Beginner

For beginning bartenders, the Julep strainer may be a better choice. Paired with a simple mixing glass or smaller mixing tin, it’s durable and easy to control.
julep cup and julep strainer

Hawthorne Strainer for Most Flexibility

More seasoned bartenders may feel that the Hawthorne Strainer is a better choice for a couple reasons. First, it can easily adapt to mixing cups and tins of multiple sizes, which you may use when creating many different types of drinks. Second is speed; it strains drinks faster. Lastly, it looks cool.

Fine Mesh Strainer for Seriously Smooth Drinks

No matter if you’re using a Julep or Hawthorne strainer, sometimes they simply don’t remove all the pulp, ice chips and collateral damage created by bartending. So it’s the Fine Mesh Strainer to the rescue! Simply pass the liquid through the second strainer (as you can see above) to ensure that you’re created a drink that’ll be smooth as a baby’s bottom.Whatever your choice, pick one and you’ll find that you’ll have your straining technique established in no time.

Welcome to the Beaumont Blog.

In our bar blog you will find lots of great tips and tricks for your business; covering topics such as how to limit your wastage, increase your bottom line and impress your customers. You will also find all the information you need on our latest products, what is going on in the world of Beaumont TM and so much more. So if you are a bartender, barista, bar owner, publican or restaurateur then this is the blog for you:


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