The Hawthorne strainer is an essential tool found in almost every bar and restaurant around the world. Known for its unique design consisting of a slotted or perforated disk with a spring mounted on part of the perimeter, it is commonly used for separating ice and other solid ingredients from cocktails after shaking or stirring. Master mixologists and bartenders understand the importance of utilizing this specific straining tool, as it contributes to the creation of smoother and more refined drinks.

Hawthorne strainers come in various sizes and styles to accommodate different preferences and budgets. They can be used with cocktail shakers or tins due to their shape and scale, ensuring a successful filtering of ice and providing a smooth-tasting beverage free from ice chips and cold shocks. As a vital component in crafting delicious cocktails, the Hawthorne strainer proves to be an indispensable instrument for both professional and at-home bartenders alike.

In addition to its practical use in cocktail making, the Hawthorne strainer’s diverse styles and designs also contribute to the aesthetic appeal of any bar setup. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or an enthusiastic amateur, selecting the right Hawthorne strainer to suit your needs can significantly impact the quality of your cocktails and the overall presentation of your bar tools.

Hawthorne Strainer Overview

The Hawthorne strainer is a vital component of a bartender’s toolkit, designed to remove ice, fruit, and other solid ingredients from a cocktail after it has been mixed. It serves as a vital link in the process of creating smooth, well-balanced beverages.

Bartender’s Tool

A Hawthorne strainer typically consists of a flat, circular metal plate affixed with a coiled spring and two or more prongs. The spring and prongs work together to ensure the strainer fits snuggly over various glassware and shakers without locking onto them, allowing for easy removal.

Compared to other types of cocktail strainers such as Julep strainers, the Hawthorne strainer is more versatile and efficient due to its design. The inclusion of the spring provides a finer strain, capturing smaller particles such as crushed ice or muddled herbs. This results in a smoother cocktail, free of any debris that could potentially hinder the drinking experience.

Bartenders often employ a Hawthorne strainer in combination with a shaker to strain shaken cocktails into a serving glass. In some cases, a double straining technique might be utilized for an even more refined result, whereby a fine mesh strainer is used in conjunction with the Hawthorne strainer.

Several quality Hawthorne strainers are available on the market, such as the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer. Bartenders often prioritize durability, ergonomic design, and ease of use when selecting the ideal strainer for their needs. With the right Hawthorne strainer in their arsenal, bartenders can effortlessly create perfectly strained, smooth, and well-balanced cocktails for their patrons.

Types of Cocktail Strainers

Julep Strainer

The Julep Strainer is a classic type of cocktail strainer that doesn’t have a spring or coil. It is commonly made of stainless steel and features a flat, perforated, bowl-shaped design with a handle. The Julep strainer is particularly useful when straining stirred cocktails or drinks that are built directly in a glass. It is easy to clean and allows for efficient separation of ice and solids from the liquid.

Fine Mesh Strainer

A Fine Mesh Strainer offers a higher level of filtration, especially when it comes to smaller particles like fruit pulp, herbs, or tiny ice chips. These strainers are typically made from stainless steel with a conical or rounded shape mesh that fits over a glass or shaker. The fine mesh is ideal for creating smoother and clearer cocktails, as it delivers a more polished final product. Some bartenders prefer to double-strain their drinks by using a fine mesh strainer in conjunction with either a Julep or Hawthorne strainer for optimal clarity.

Hawthorne Strainers

Hawthorne Strainers are perhaps the most frequently used and recognizable type of strainer in the bartending community. They are composed of a flat metal tool with a spring attached, which filters out ice, fruits, and other solid ingredients when pouring a mixed drink. Hawthorne strainers are typically used in conjunction with a Boston shaker, as they fit snugly over the top of the shaker, allowing for easy and efficient straining. The spring on a Hawthorne strainer helps to create a tight seal, preventing any unwanted solid ingredients from passing through into the final cocktail. It is a versatile and essential tool for any bartender when preparing shaken or stirred cocktails.

Functionality and Technique

Straining Process

The Hawthorne strainer is a crucial tool in cocktail-making, as it helps in effectively separating ice and other solid ingredients from mixed drinks. It is typically made of stainless steel or other similar metals and is designed to fit snugly over any glass or shaker without locking onto it source.

To use a Hawthorne strainer, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your mixed drink in a mixing glass or shaker
  2. Place the Hawthorne strainer on top of the glass or shaker, ensuring the coil faces inward to hold back the solid ingredients
  3. Hold the strainer in place using your index finger while you pour the cocktail into the serving glass

The strainer’s design, with its handle and prongs, allows it to provide a good grip and help in achieving a smoother pour source.

Double Straining

In some cases, you might want an even finer strain for your cocktails, particularly when dealing with smaller ingredients like fruit seeds, pulp, or crushed ice. This is where double straining comes in handy.

To double strain a cocktail, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Place a fine mesh strainer, also known as a tea strainer or conical strainer, over your serving glass
  2. Hold the Hawthorne strainer in place on top of your mixing glass or shaker, as you would typically do
  3. Pour the cocktail through both strainers simultaneously, catching even the tiniest particles and giving you a crystal-clear drink

Double straining is an excellent technique for creating visually appealing, debris-free cocktails, and it showcases your attention to detail as a bartender or home mixologist. Just remember that practice makes perfect, so keep refining your technique to achieve the best results source.

Components and Design

Handle and Prongs

The Hawthorne strainer features a handle that is typically 1.5-2 inches long, allowing for comfortable use during straining 1. The handle may come in various designs, including those with finger grips for added control and ease of use. On the head of the strainer, there are generally 2 or more prongs, with some strainers possessing 4 prongs for increased stability2. These prongs extend from the head plate and aid in securing the strainer over a glass or shaker.

Spring Design

One of the key aspects of a Hawthorne strainer is its spring design2. The strainer consists of a coiled metal spring along the inner edge of the head plate, which helps to conform to different glass and shaker sizes. This flexible spring ensures proper sealing during the straining process, preventing unwanted solids from passing through the strainer and improving overall performance.

Head Design

The head design of a Hawthorne strainer usually features a round plate with a perforated central area. This perforated area is responsible for filtering out solid particles from a cocktail when straining3. Some strainers are equipped with additional features, such as metal wings for better grip on the glass or shaker. The head design plays an integral role in the straining process, ensuring that the final cocktail is smooth and free of any unwanted solids.

Balance and Stability

Achieving balance and stability is essential for an efficient Hawthorne strainer. The combination of an ergonomic handle, appropriate prong length, and a well-designed head plate creates stability during the straining process3. Even weight distribution across the strainer is important to prevent imbalances that may lead to spillages or inconsistent straining results. The overall design of a Hawthorne strainer should prioritize balance and stability, resulting in a reliable and effective tool for straining cocktails.


  1. European Bartender School
  2. Advanced Mixology 2
  3. PS Bar Shop 2

Popular Hawthorne Strainers

Oxo Steel Cocktail Strainer

The Oxo Steel Cocktail Strainer is a versatile and durable Hawthorne strainer. Its stainless steel construction ensures long-lasting performance, while the raised lip prevents spills during straining. The perforated design allows for efficient liquid flow, keeping cocktails smooth and free of unwanted particles.

A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer

A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer offers exceptional performance with its anti-slip pouring feature and removable spring. Customers have praised the strainer for its ability to catch even the tiniest bits, eliminating the need for using a fine mesh strainer.

Sky Fish Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer

The Sky Fish Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer is known for its ergonomic shape and stylish design. Made from stainless steel, this strainer provides efficient straining capabilities and durability for both home and professional bartenders. Its tight coil spring ensures cocktails have a smooth and consistent texture.


Tezzorio’s Hawthorne strainers are appreciated for their sturdy construction and user-friendly design. While not covered extensively in the search results, Tezzorio is a reliable brand that offers a variety of strainers to cater to different preferences and requirements.


Derrison strainers are not prominently featured in the search results, but they are worth mentioning due to their sleek design and functionality. With a variety_of_strainers_available, Derrison offers options to suit anyone’s needs; be it a home bartender or a professional mixologist. Their strainers are made from quality materials to ensure long-lasting performance.

Materials and Durability

When selecting a Hawthorne Strainer, one aspect that cannot be overlooked is the materials used for construction and their durability. Most high-quality Hawthorne strainers are made from stainless steel due to its numerous advantages. Stainless steel construction ensures a strong, durable, and heavy-duty strainer capable of withstanding regular use in a busy bar or home setting.

Particularly, many top-quality strainers are crafted from 18/8 stainless steel, a premium-quality stainless steel variety. This type of stainless steel is known for its excellent corrosion resistance and long-lasting properties. It is easy to clean and maintains its polished appearance even with frequent use.

Durability is essential for achieving consistent results with your cocktails, especially when straining finely ground ingredients or ice. A well-built Hawthorne strainer will provide a smooth pouring experience and maintain its functionality for an extended period.

In summary, when seeking a Hawthorne strainer, prioritize products made from stainless steel and specifically 18/8 stainless steel to ensure a durable, heavy-duty, and resilient bar tool. A premium-quality strainer will not only serve its purpose efficiently but also stand the test of time, making it a worthwhile investment for both amateur and professional mixologists alike.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and maintaining a Hawthorne Strainer is essential for ensuring the quality and taste of your cocktails. By keeping the strainer clean, you prevent any residue buildup and unwanted flavors in your drinks. In this section, we will address the cleaning and maintenance process of a Hawthorne Strainer in a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone.

First, after using the Hawthorne Strainer, it is crucial to rinse it thoroughly with warm water. This step will remove any leftover cocktail ingredients, pulp, or small ice particles from the strainer. Make sure to focus on the spring area, as it can easily trap debris.

To clean the Hawthorne Strainer more thoroughly, you should use a mild dish soap and a soft sponge. Gently scrub the strainer, paying close attention to the coil, handle, and main section. It’s essential not to use any abrasive materials, as they may damage the strainer’s finish.

In addition to hand washing, you can also clean the Hawthorne Strainer using a dishwasher if it is constructed of dishwasher-safe materials. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the strainer can withstand dishwasher cleaning. If so, place the strainer in the utensil compartment or on the top rack for better results.

For maintaining your Hawthorne Strainer, it is essential to allow it to air dry after cleaning. This prevents any moisture buildup, which may lead to rust or other unwanted effects. Store the strainer in a dry and cool environment, such as a bar drawer or cupboard.

Regularly inspect the Hawthorne Strainer for any wear and tear, such as a loose coil, bends, or other issues. If you notice any damage, it might be time to replace the strainer.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your Hawthorne Strainer remains in excellent condition and offers consistent, quality cocktails. Remember to prioritize proper cleaning and check your strainer regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Usage with Cocktails


When preparing a martini, bartenders often choose to use a Hawthorne strainer to ensure that the drink is smooth, free of ice shards, and other unwanted solid ingredients. The process begins with mixing the martini ingredients in a mixing glass, chilling the combination to the desired temperature.

Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, the Hawthorne strainer comes into play. This strainer is a vital tool for separating the liquid from the ice cubes and any potential fruit pulp or muddled mint that may have been included in the recipe. The spring present in the Hawthorne strainer assists in achieving a secure fit for different sizes of mixing glasses, ensuring that the liquid flows smoothly and unwanted elements are caught effectively.

To properly use a Hawthorne strainer, ensure that the flat side of the strainer is placed against the lip of the mixing glass. Press the strainer firmly, allowing the spring to compress against the side of the glass, creating a tight seal. Slowly pour the mixed drink into the serving glass, allowing the liquid to pass through the small holes in the strainer while stopping ice shards, citrus pulp, or any other solid ingredients from entering the cocktail.

Using a Hawthorne strainer with a martini preparation helps to achieve an elegant and effortlessly clear cocktail, highlighting the skill and precision of the bartender. By mastering the use of this essential tool, anyone can create a flawless martini that is aesthetically pleasing and free of unwanted impurities.

Variety and Appearance

Hawthorne strainers come in a wide array of color options and offer both functionality and a stylish appearance for any bar setup. These versatile strainers are an essential tool for bartenders and can be incorporated into various mixing environments.

The design of a Hawthorne strainer typically includes a flat, round head plate with two or more prongs sticking out from it. This helps the strainer fit snugly over any glass or shaker without locking onto it, allowing for easy removal1. It is important to note that the length of the handle on a Hawthorne strainer is usually between 1.5 to 2 inches, making it user-friendly and efficient.

Regarding color options, Hawthorne strainers are available in various shades. Some popular options include classic stainless steel, polished silver, sleek black, and even eye-catching copper or gold finishes. This wide selection of colors allows users to choose the perfect strainer that complements their bar equipment and overall aesthetics.

One of the top-rated Hawthorne strainers is the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer2, which offers efficient performance and eliminates the need for a fine mesh strainer. Another notable option is the Cocktail Kingdom’s Buswell 4-Prong Hawthorne Strainer3, which provides added stability and versatility.

In conclusion, Hawthorne strainers have a distinctive appearance and offer a variety of color options to suit any bar setup. Their practical and visually appealing design makes them a popular choice among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.



Comparison to Other Strainers

In the world of cocktail straining, the Hawthorne strainer is a popular choice among bartenders. However, there are other types of strainers that also have their own unique characteristics and uses. In this section, we will compare the Hawthorne strainer to two other common strainers: Julep strainers and Fine Mesh strainers.

Julep Strainers

Julep strainers are a more classic option compared to the Hawthorne. They’re identifiable by their lack of a spring or coil, which is a key feature of the Hawthorne strainer. Julep strainers have a bowl-shaped design with small holes that are effective in filtering out ice and larger solids while pouring cocktails.

While Hawthorne strainers, with their springs, prove to be more versatile as they can easily fit a wider variety of barware like shaker tins and mixing glasses source. The lack of a spring in Julep strainers means they may not be as adaptable to different glassware sizes, though they still remain quite popular and stylish in the bartending scene.

Fine Mesh Strainers

Fine Mesh strainers differ from both the Hawthorne and Julep strainers in their construction. As the name suggests, they have a very fine mesh that is capable of catching even the tiniest particles, such as seeds or small fruit pieces. This results in an extremely smooth and clean cocktail.

The A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer, for example, is so efficient that some users have stopped using a fine mesh strainer altogether, since this Hawthorne strainer can strain even the smallest bits source.

Nevertheless, fine mesh strainers are still useful when bartenders need to ensure maximum clarity in their cocktails, or when working with ingredients that have a particularly large number of small particles.

In conclusion, Hawthorne strainers are versatile and practical for most cocktail straining needs. Julep strainers provide a more traditional and elegant option while fine mesh strainers excel in delivering exceptionally smooth and clear cocktails. Choosing the right strainer depends on individual needs and preferences.

Preparing Classic Drinks

When preparing classic drinks like the Daiquiri, Margarita, and Whiskey Sour, it’s essential to use the right barware to achieve smooth, well-balanced cocktails. One indispensable piece of bar equipment is the Hawthorne Strainer.


The Daiquiri is a shaken cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. After shaking the ingredients with ice, strain the cocktail using a Hawthorne Strainer to ensure a smooth, lump-free consistency. The strainer effectively filters out solid ingredients like ice shards, resulting in a refreshing and well-balanced drink.


For a perfect Margarita, consisting of tequila, lime juice, and triple sec, shake the ingredients with ice in a shaker tin. As with the Daiquiri, use a Hawthorne Strainer to pour the mixture into a salt-rimmed glass. This strainer is especially useful for shaken cocktails like the Margarita, filtering out any unwanted ice or pulp, ensuring a clear and smooth texture.

Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour, a classic blend of whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup, also benefits from the use of a Hawthorne Strainer in its preparation. After shaking the ingredients with ice, hold the strainer against the lip of the tin and carefully pour the cocktail into a serving glass. This process filters out any solid ingredients and contributes to the ideal consistency and taste of the Whiskey Sour.

By using a Hawthorne Strainer during the preparation of these classic cocktails, one ensures a smooth, well-balanced, and enjoyable drinking experience every time.

Trusted Barware Brands

When it comes to Hawthorne strainers, several trusted brands in the barware industry stand out for their quality and performance. Among these, Koriko is highly regarded by professionals for its utility. The Koriko 2-Prong Hawthorne Strainer is celebrated by bartenders, mixologists, and brand ambassadors from around the country, making it a top pick.

Cocktail Kingdom is another notable brand that offers an excellent variety of strainers for both professionals and home use. Their Buswell 4-Prong Hawthorne Strainer is recommended for its added stability and versatility, and the Cocktail Kingdom website also features other premium mesh, Julep, and Hawthorne strainers in various styles and finishes.

For those looking for a lightweight option that still maintains top-notch performance, the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer is noteworthy. Customers praise its ability to strain even the tiniest bits, eliminating the need for a fine mesh strainer. The higher price point is justified by its efficiency and effectiveness.

Lastly, the Poor Man’s Kitchen Kilpatrick Fine Strainer deserves a mention for its easy usability and efficient filtration of fine solids. This strainer’s performance further reinforces the importance of choosing well-known and trusted brands when purchasing barware.

Investing in a trusted brand for your Hawthorne strainers not only ensures smooth and perfect cocktails but also contributes to the overall experience and satisfaction for both bartenders and their clientele. These brands deliver quality, durability, and style, making them worth the consideration for any barware collection.

If you're a fan of all things cocktails (or have ever watched James Bond), you'll know that cocktails need to be shaken (not stirred...well sometimes yes). However, have you ever wondered how bartenders get the good stuff out of the metal canister shaking thing? They use a strainer but not just any kind of strainer. These are called Hawthorne Strainers, and they'll improve your at-home cocktail game tenfold. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. All prices on this site may change and those considered valid are displayed on


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.