11 Best Cocktail Strainers for Home Bar: Advanced Mixology



Among the basic bar tools, one that any bartender should never go without is a cocktail strainer. And not just any strainer, it should be the best possible cocktail strainer so you can use it for a long time. Good bar tools are hard to come by and finding the right ones for your specific needs is a must. 

Buying Guide

When buying bar tools, especially a cocktail strainer, you should consider the following:

Type

There are three types of cocktail strainer: Hawthorne, julep, and fine mesh. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, especially for inexperienced users.

1. Hawthorne strainer

Hawthorne strainers are the most professional-looking of the cocktail strainers. Unlike the ordinary strainer that strains out the small particles from your mixture, the Hawthorne strainer’s main purpose is to separate the ice chips from the cocktail. Small as they are, ice chips can cause choking to the unsuspecting patron. It is composed of a flat piece of metal, usually with holes and an attached metal spring that functions to filter the ice from the cocktail. 

The Hawthorne strainer is the choice of professional bartenders since it can easily fit almost all Boston shakers since these do not come with a strainer. It is also very durable and easy to maintain. Some more advanced designs come with a tab that can be used to push the strainer to the edge of the shaker tin so you won’t need to double strain. 

2. Julep strainer

Would you believe that the first purpose of the julep strainer is not to strain out the cocktail but to separate the ice from the mint julep while one is drinking it? In the 1800s when it was first used, people use grass stem as a makeshift straw but that usually fails when drinking icy drinks such as a mint julep. It is shaped like a ladle with holes on the bowl and a short handle.

For inexperienced bartenders, the julep strainer is recommended since it is easier to use. Personally, though, we prefer the Hawthorne strainer but that is purely opinion. 

3. Fine mesh strainer

You probably read “double straining” in your cocktail recipes a lot. To do it, you use either a Hawthorne strainer or a julep strainer and a fine-mesh strainer. Any fine-mesh strainer will do but designers came up with conical shaped fine mesh strainers that lessen spillage. These are usually made of a metal fine-mesh net and a metal handle. 

Material and Finish

Metal is the most common material for strainers but some strainers have ABS plastic parts (tabs and handles) and since the plastic parts do not come in contact with the cocktail itself, then it should not be a problem. However, newer strainers come in different finishes - copper, rose gold, gold, silver, matte black. Usually, the silver finish is the easiest to maintain but the rose gold and copper are lovely additions to your otherwise boring bar setup. 

Convenience 

Choose the one that is most convenient to use for you. For most professional bartenders, a Hawthorne strainer with tab is a good choice since it can double strain your cocktails without needing a separate strainer. However, when straining out fruit pulp for a cleaner cocktail, a fine mesh net with wide holes on the handle is a good choice. 

Price

As it is, price is one of the major considerations but also consider the value of the item. A more expensive but sturdier brand is a better choice, especially in professional settings. Before buying one for a home bar, read reviews and customer feedback to choose the one that will fit your price range and expectations. 

Top Picks 

  • Best Strainer Set: Cocktail Strainer Set Stainless Steel Bar Tool with Bar Spoon
  • Best Strainer for Professional Bartenders and Mixologists:  Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer 
  • Best Value Strainer: Homestia Cocktail Strainer, Copper
  • Best Overall: OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer
  • Best Decorative Strainer: Barfly Scalloped Julep Strainer, Antique Copper

  • 11 Best Cocktail Strainers

    Here are 11 of the best cocktail strainers in the market that you can choose from. 

    Cocktail Strainer Set

    1. Best Budget Strainer Set: Cocktail Strainer Set Stainless Steel Bar Tool with Bar Spoon

    Pros

    • No need to purchase separate strainers 
    • High-quality bar tools at a very reasonable price
    • Comes with a free bar spoon long enough to stir fruit punch mixed in pitchers

    Cons

    • Hawthorne strainer does not have a tab
    • Some parts are not strongly welded together

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Janae Rainbolt is very happy with this Amazon purchase since it served its purpose well while Connor, another Amazon customer, said that he is very happy with his purchase and that his guests thought he was a professional bartender with the awesome tools he had behind his bar. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    This is a very cheap strainer set but the quality was not compromised. 

    Who should buy it:

    Home bar owners who are still honing their bartending skills will benefit from this set. They don’t have to invest too much on a single tool until they are more adept at using them. 

                                            

    2. Koviti Cocktail Strainer Set

    Pros

    • A great gift idea for new home bartenders
    • Made of high-quality, rust-proof 304 stainless steel
    • A different strainer for your many needs

    Cons

    • Fairly new in the market

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Wyatt, on his customer review posted in the Amazon store, said that he especially loves the fine-mesh and julep strainers since they make a great addition to his existing bar tools. Mr. Tixx, also an Amazon customer, said that the products feel good on his hands and that they are very stylish and easy to clean, especially the Hawthorne strainer. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    These are a very good deal for those needing some new bar tools without breaking the bank. 

    Who should buy it:

    For those who want to try out tools before committing to more expensive ones, these are very good options. This set may be cheap but it has a very decent quality for some gifting you want to do in the future. 

                                            

    Hawthorne Strainers

    3. Best Overall: OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer

    Pros

    • Durable stainless steel backed with years of OXO SteeL guarantee
    • Comes with a finger-rest to prevent accidental spills
    • Dishwasher safe and easy to store

    Cons

    • The spring can be sometimes loose and are too small

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    A Top Contributor for Camping on Amazon, Wilderness Techno Geek loves how OXO fits his requirements in a strainer that he packed his old one away and he especially loves the finger rest since he can pour his drinks using on hand without adding extra tension to his hands and fingers. David, an Amazon customer and a professional bartender said that this is the best strainer he had come across so far. As a professional, he has been using his OXO strainer for more than a year and it still works perfectly fine. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    The brand is very trusted for bar tools and that only speaks for the quality and value that they deliver to their customers. 

    Who should buy it:

    For the professional bartender who wants years on his bar tools and who relies on the tons of quality products from this brand. 

                                           

    4. Winco Stainless Steel 4-Prong Bar Strainer

    Pros

    • Four-pronged strainer for easy straining and pouring
    • Made of high-quality stainless steel that is also dishwasher safe

    Cons

    • Spring is too loose
    • The edges are too sharp 
    • The front prongs are too short for effective use
    • Some customers received a different product from what is advertised

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Trey Titus posted a review on Amazon and said that it was what he needed for his home bar because it is just the perfect size and is not flimsy. Leslie, another Amazon customer, said that it’s the nest old school strainer she found in a long time. The prongs make it easy to hold them while keeping the upper side of the strainer flat for easy storage. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    With the price it offers, it is probably one of the cheapest in the market so for a starter bartender like someone you know, this can be a great gift idea. Best for use in home bars

    Who should buy it:

    For someone looking for something low on the budget line, this is the perfect strainer for you.  

                                           

    5. Best Strainer for Professional Bartenders and Mixologists: Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer

    Pros

    • Made of high-quality stainless steel for durability and quality
    • Finger rest on the back rim allows your finger to rest while pressing the rim forward for better straining
    • High-quality stainless steel spring welded strong on the rim 

    Cons

    • Does not fit shaker of the same brand
    • Large and bulky 

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    CS recently purchased one of these strainers on Amazon and provided feedback that it really made making his favorite Manhattan easy. Yuta Da Cray also posted feedback after his purchase on Amazon that the coil of his strainer is heavy and strong, making it easier to strain his cocktails. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    We think that this is a great addition to any bar scene, especially that the spring is strongly coiled and well-welded on its rim. 

    Who should buy it:

    Anyone who wants quality over price will love this strainer. 

                                           

    6. Best Value Strainer: Homestia Bar Strainer, Copper

    Pros

    • Keeps the ice chips out from your cocktails
    • Fits most standard cocktail shakers
    • Makes a beautiful addition to the home or professional bar
    • Finely coiled and stable spring made with high-quality stainless steel

    Cons

    • Needs extra attention to clean so the acid from the liquors and citrus will not blacken the strainer
    • Does not have a tab to control the flow

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Aracelis posted her review on Amazon about the Homestia Bar Strainer (Rose Gold) saying it does its job and is pretty to boot. Another customer on Amazon found it of good quality and last for a long time. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    For a bartender, a good strainer is a very important tool to remove the ice chips from the cocktails that may otherwise result in injury or choking to the unsuspecting patron. Plus it comes in 4 different colors - silver, black, gold, and copper - so you can choose the best one for your bar setup. 

    Who should buy it:

    This is perfect for those who want a pop of color on their bar counter without sacrificing quality and functionality. 

                                              

    Julep Strainers

    7. HIC Kitchen Julep Bar Strainer

    Pros

    • Made of high-quality stainless steel that is rust and corrosion-resistant
    • Durable and dishwasher-safe
    • Perfect for use in mixing glasses
    • Less messy compared to Hawthorne strainers

    Cons

    • Some products delivered to clients were flimsy and damaged

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    1. Nelson, an Amazon customer, loves his julep strainer since it keeps his counter clean as opposed to the messy counter when using a Hawthorne strainer. CafeMartin also posted his review on Amazon and said that it was a versatile strainer and is priced right, especially for home use. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    We recommend this strainer for everyone who wants to stay within the budget but wants functional bar tools. 

    Who should buy it:

    For someone who is not confident of his pouring skills or hates the mess on his counter, this julep strainer is a good choice.  

                                            

    8. A Bar Above Professional Julep Strainer

                                     

    Pros

    • Better than the Hawthorne strainer since it can be adjusted to fit even the larger shakers
    • Smaller holes to effectively leave smaller seeds and pulp from fruits
    • Works even in a mixing glass or any regular glass
    • Relatively cheap for its gold finish compared to other brands

    Cons

    • Does not have a notch on which the glass can rest when pouring

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Mommyofeandj posted this photo review (upper) on Amazon saying that this is a great product and that she highly recommends it. Kirsch, on the other hand, loves using this julep strainer (lower photo) over mesh strainers since they easily rust while this one effectively strains out lemon seeds and sits well on a glass while you’re straining.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    You can never go wrong with a classic julep strainer that’s made by some top bar toolmakers in the industry.

    Who should buy it:

    We recommend this julep strainer to everyone who loves reliability, durability, and quality for hie bar tools. Well, that’s about everyone.

     

                                           

    9. Best Decorative Strainer: Barfly Scalloped Julep Strainer, Antique Copper

    Pros

    • Easier hold on the strainer
    • Made of high-quality stainless steel that is corrosion and rust-resistant
    • Heavy-gauge stainless steel
    • Available antique copper finish for other bar tools if you want to update your bar later

    Cons

    • May look out of place with your stainless steel bar tools
    • Needs constant care to maintain its finish

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Frozen85, an Amazon customer from Canada said she loved the Scalloped Julep Strainer in Antique Copper because of its lovely color and functionality. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    The Scalloped Julep Strainer in Antique Copper is a good addition to your current bar tools though it may take some time getting used to its antique copper color. 

    Who should buy it:

    We recommend this for those who have a thing for antiques and vintage look. Even if you don’t put it to actual use, it is still a good decor to your professional or home bar. 

                                              

    Conical Strainers

    10. RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel 3-Inch Conical Strainer

    Pros

    • Just the right size for double straining cocktails
    • Extra fine mesh made of high-grade stainless steel
    • Can be used for other straining purposes

    Cons

    • Some of the customers received damaged products
    • Too small for straining broth, soups, etc. 

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    DGPayne, on Amazon, said she loves how she can also use this strainer for her coffee to strain out the coffee grounds. James also said that it is the perfect size for cocktails and it’s worth every penny he paid for this strainer. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    If you want a no-nonsense cocktail strainer, we definitely think this one is for you.  

    Who should buy it:

    For those who want a dedicated strainer for their cocktails, this is a good choice. Since its primary purpose is for small amounts of liquid, its use is limited when it comes to bulk straining. 

                                            

    11. OXO 3112000 SteeL Fine Mesh Cocktail Strainer, 3-inch, Stainless Steel

    Pros

    • Deeper than most fine-mesh strainers in the market
    • Fine mesh effectively strains out the fruit pulp
    • Double-welded construction for functionality and durability

    Cons

    • Some customers received the wrong product

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Elizabeth says this is the perfect strainer for lime juice and that it has excellent quality. RJM also posted a video on this Amazon reviews showing how well it can strain out coffee grounds so he can drink his coffee without any hassle. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    Cheap yet high-quality fine-mesh strainer for your everyday need with its wider rim and deeper cone. 

    Who should buy it:

    For those who want value in their bar tools, this is a perfect choice, backed with OXO quality and durability. 

                                             

    12. Barfly M37025CP Fine Mesh Cocktail Strainer, Copper

    Pros

    • Comfortable rod handle can double as a hook
    • Conical shaped for easy pouring
    • The high-quality finish didn’t fade even after washing in the dishwasher (top-rack)

    Cons

    • The handle is not strongly welded sometimes
    • Large holes cannot strain out the fine pulp

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    Emma, a professional bartender and an avid customer of Amazon said this is a perfect alternative to her more expensive bar tools that were stolen and she is very happy with it that she won’t be buying her usual brand. KayTee Bauer, also an Amazon customer, said that since the quarantine, he needed more tools to work at home. They were so easy to clean and works perfectly well. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    Aside from the lovely copper color, the handle has a wide slot that makes it easy to hang on any size of hook

    Who should buy it:

    Everyone looking for a pop of color in their home bar is in for a treat with this strainer. 

                                             

    Conclusion

    Get out the most from your cocktail strainers. You don’t have to spend much just to get the quality and value you need. Check out other bar tools review on jiggers and cocktail shakers to make better decisions before you decide on buying some new bar tools. 

    Check out our monthly free samples or sign up to our free VIP club to avail of our exclusive rebate program. No credit cards required. No need to purchase anything. We just want to say thank you.

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