How to strain a cocktail? What is the right technique to make a fine strain cocktail? Straining is an essential bartending technique that might seem easy in the first place, but most bartenders usually do it the wrong way. So, what is the right method to strain a cocktail? Find it out right here!
Why Do We Strain Cocktails?
Although a simple bartending technique, there are many reasons why we need to learn to properly strain a cocktail. One of the most common reasons is discarding ice from the finished drink. Many cocktails such as martinis require mixing with ice. Hence, straining becomes necessary.
Also, for drinks that are served on ice, it is recommended to discard the old ice by straining the cocktail. Once the old ice has been strained out, the drink should be poured over fresh ice. This technique is mainly used for shaken drinks.
While shaking a cocktail, the ice breaks down into smaller pieces in the shaker. There’s no denying that dilution helps to balance the flavors of a drink, too much water may kill its taste. Therefore, it is best to strain a cocktail before serving.
Another crucial reason why we strain cocktails is to get rid of the chunky ingredients in the drink. This entails everything from torn herbs, pieces of fruits, or whole spices. After all, when you’ve got the flavor in your drink, why would you want to bite a whole clove!
We agree that some classic drinks such as the Old-fashioned and Mojito are served with those solid ingredients, but not every drink has to be served like that. Not to mention, most drinkers like to savor a fine strained drink. Now, let us move on to how to strain a cocktail.
How to Strain a Cocktail with Different Types of Cocktail Strainers
Why you are on a quest to know how to strain a cocktail, you would also like to get familiar with the different types of cocktail strainers. There are three main types of cocktail strainers explained below.
Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer
The most common of all, the classic Hawthorne strainer can be easily recognized with a flexible wire coil around the outside, and holes in the head. The other physical characteristic of the Hawthorne cocktail strainer is the “ears” on both sides, which help it to be placed on the top of a shaker tin. The Hawthorne strainer is the best cocktail strainer for straining all solid ingredients, and for creating a crisp, and clean cocktail. Learn how to strain a cocktail with Hawthorne.
To strain a drink with Hawthorne cocktail strainer, make sure the coil facing is down. Now, place the strainer inside the glass or mixing tin and use your forefinger to hold the cocktail strainer. Grasp the tin near the top. Let the drink pour into the glass. To avoid spills on the bar, quickly return the tin or container to an upright position.
Give your audience a little musical experience by leveraging the pleasant tone emitted by the spring brushes of the Hawthorne strainer.
Another type of cocktail strainer is the Julep strainer that comes with a unique history. You will be thrilled to know that this strainer was once served with cocktails. Also, it was used on top of cocktails served with crushed ice, when there were no straws. This helped drinkers enjoy the drink without letting the ice pour here and there. Wondering how to strain a cocktail with Julep? We can help you with that.
Talking about the looks and shape of a Julep strainer, it has a shape of a small bowl and a round head that has small piercings. Also, cocktail enthusiasts, today, collect several julep designs as a hobby.
To strain a cocktail with a Julep strainer, place it on the inside lip of the mixing glass, the index finger will hold the strainer in place to keep the ice inside the mixing glass during the pour.
If you want to give a smooth finish to a cocktail, then you need to use a Fine strainer along with a Julep or Hawthorne strainer. Talking about the shape and physical appearance of a fine strainer, it looks like a tiny sieve with small ears on the opposite ends. You can easily learn how to strain a cocktail with Fine strainer.
Once you have strained you drink with a Hawthorne or Julep strainer, you can use a Fine Mesh strainer to remove the tiniest chunks of ingredients, alongside any aeration. The technique is called ‘double straining.’
When crushed herbs, fruits, eggs, or dairy have been incorporated while mixing, a Fine strainer may be called! Now the question is how to strain a cocktail with a Fine strainer? Well, the cocktail is strained with one hand as usual, while the free hand holds the fine strainer over the cocktail glass to catch any debris and provide a more consistent texture.
Strain a Cocktail with Cocktail Shakers
You can also strain a cocktail with cocktail shakers. The three-piece cocktail shaker comes with an in-built strainer, so you don’t need a separate tool. All you have to do is make a firm grip on the mixing tin. Now secure the strainer lid by using your middle finger and forefinger on top of it. While pouring the drink in a glass, slowly tip your three-piece shaker upside down. As the shaker has a smaller hole, make sure you shake it a little to let all of the liquid come out. You may have understood how to use a cocktail strainer by now.
If you are using a Boston shaker, you’ll have to use a separate strainer. The reason is that there is no in-built strainer in this type of shaker. While you’ll find a Hawthorne cocktail strainer the most useful, you’ll also want to use a Julep strainer at times.
Now that you know how to strain a cocktail, start using the technique to make some exciting cocktails!