In our final blog covering our ‘How To’ series of videos with professional bartender Jumbles St Pierre, we look at strainers. Strainers have become a mainstay in the world of cocktails ever since the Hawthorne strainer was invented in the late 1800s. Its predecessor, the julep strainer was actually invented to allow people to drink the famous Mint Julep cocktail without getting a mouthful of ice – however, the Hawthorne strainer was the first to be widely used in the preparation of cocktails.
Fast forward to the modern-day and the strainer has become an integral part of the cocktail making the process, with many different shapes and types of strainers now available. The spring on the original Hawthorne strainer may have changed ever so slightly over the years but the concept has remained the same and it still remains the preferred method for straining. From pronged strainers to triangular strainers, fine mesh strainers to recreations of the julep strainer, there are plenty of choices depending on your needs and preferred style, for bartenders today.
In our final ‘How To’ video below, Jumbles covers how and why you would use each strainer as well as recommending the best strainers to get you started as a beginner and more:
Hawthorne style strainers
The Hawthorne style of cocktail strainers is characterised as such due to the outer spring, which is used as the main strainer. Each of these will perform slightly differently depending on which cocktail tins or mixing glasses they are being used with. There are subtle differences to the shape, with some easier to handle than others, some designed to be better for flair bartending and others for pure aesthetics. Have a look at the range below:
The 2 or 4 pronged strainer
These strainers are a little slimmer in stature and come with either 2 or 4 ‘ears’ (prongs). These are perfect for bartenders who require a little extra stability when using the strainer with a cocktail tin:
Our range of round strainers are almost perfectly circular and are our most preferred strainer aesthetically. With a slight nook in the handle, these strainers are very easy to use when placed inside the cocktail tin rather than on top like the pronged versions. Choose from Antique Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel or our newest variation on the round design – the Euro Strainer.
The Ninja Strainer
This strainer is meant to challenge the traditional design of the cocktail strainer, at least from the perspective of shape. The triangular shape of this strainer makes it unique and different and also great for flair bartending. As it sits on top of the cocktail shaker it is also one of our easiest cocktail strainers to use.
Julep Strainers and the Fine Mesh
Last but not least are the original article, the Julep Strainer. Recreations of the original design, these are modern versions in use of materials only. The fine mesh strainer is generally set apart from all of the above strainers as it is often used in conjunction with them. Some cocktails require double straining, just to make sure nothing gets through to the glass but silky smooth liquid – that means no ice shards and no fruit pulp.