This Chinese tea strainer-inspired tool is called the Hawthorne strainer. They're made of stainless steel metal designed to be flat with a round body and handle. On the body of the strainer, you'll find perforation, a finger tab, a coil, and prongs or wings attached at the edge.

It was initially called a Julep strainer, but people didn't seem to like that since that name already exists for another strainer. They instead named it Hawthorne strainers after a Boston bar, the Hawthorne Cafe. Denny Sullivan owns both the patent and the establishment.

How to Choose a Good Hawthorne Strainer

Universally fits. Hawthorne strainers should fit every kind of shaker and mixing glass. The prong or wings are designed to keep it in place and prevent any residue from getting into the final product.

Tight Coils. When you're shaking, mixing, or muddling drinks, there's a high chance that ice fragments may form in your mix. You need to strain this, or it'll ruin your drink. The tight coil can prevent seeds, herbs, and ice fragments from falling into your serving glass; if you have a loose coil, you'll end up with a dirty-looking drink.

Finger tab position. Some Hawthorne strainers are crafted better than others. The finger tab should be placed near the center to control better the open and closed gate method of straining. If the finger tab is too high, the harder it is to control.

The open and close gate helps you control the flow of your pour and the level of filtration you want for your drinks. Open gates have a high flow rate and regular filtration, while closed gates have a slow flow rate and extreme filtration. You could end up with an open pour if the tab is near the handle and sully your cocktail.