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JAZ

Cocktail strainers

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I usually find that by the time the drink is properly chilled, it has just about the right amount of dilution. When I chilled the pint glass, I didn't get enough dilution. Well, it was ok for me as I don't mind the drinks really stiff, however my wife and many guests don't always enjoy "the burn".

I haven't tried stirring in the tin as I'm usually making a couple drinks at a time and have multiple pint glasses (brewery tours ftw) and only 1 tin. If the dilution ends up being the same and the drink colder, that would be welcome. I'll have to give it a shot side by side.

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one man's proper chill is another man's tepid mess. sam can certainly walk through the thermodynamics of the situation, but if you use a chilled mixing glass, you better stir for a longer period of time to get adequate dilution. your end result will be much, much colder than if using room temperature glass.

-a

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one man's proper chill is another man's tepid mess.  sam can certainly walk through the thermodynamics of the situation, but if you use a chilled mixing glass, you better stir for a longer period of time to get adequate dilution.  your end result will be much, much colder than if using room temperature glass.

-a

so i use chilled pints at work. and they can really chill things down really quick even with not so ideal ice. so to make something with comparable dilution to normal i'd have to let it sit for a few seconds or so and dilute.

well i'm primarily mixing manhattans. and i only have overholt at 80 proof. i'd like to give that more concentrated higher proof rittenhouse feel. is it appropriate to just let my drinks "cook" less. i try to do the same with 80 proof gins to increase their proof and intensity... i don't do this for every drink but there are lots of times when i want a higher proof feel...

a viable technique?


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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The Oxo strainer is great, but the best hawthorn is a little cheaper and more striped down in style. The called a No Prong strainer, it's huge and covers the full top of a 26 28 shaker. You can buy them at barproducts.com. The coil squeezes together to form a good fit. Nobody has talked about 'closing the gate' yet. The reason hawthorns have that place to put your finger is because they are meant to be pushed down so the the liquid doesn's come through under the strainer, it comes through the strainer. This creats two streams of liquid. Some people use this to pour into two glasses at the same time, but the dense coil is really the payoff. The less ice cristals the better. Doubling up the springs is a great touch too. The reason i don't like the Oxo as much is it doesn't allow double pouring. The metal is great, but it bends upwards so only 1 stream comes out when you close the gate. I don't really care of the spring as much either. Not dense enough.

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Unless you chill the pint glass, you'll get a colder stirred drink by using the metal tin.

I too create my stir drinks in a pint glass. And it's always at room temperature. I've never even considered using a chilled pint glass. Which is kind of funny, since I keep a couple in my freezer all the time. I guess I should try this out.

FWIW, I also build my shaken drinks in room temp pint glass. Then, I add the ice, slap on the tin, then shake.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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On Dec 12 2008, 01:32 PM, jsmeeker said:

On Dec 10 2008, 04:29 PM, slkinsey said:

Unless you chill the pint glass, you'll get a colder stirred drink by using the metal tin.


I too create my stir drinks in a pint glass. And it's always at room temperature. I've never even considered using a chilled pint glass. Which is kind of funny, since I keep a couple in my freezer all the time. I guess I should try this out.

FWIW, I also build my shaken drinks in room temp pint glass. Then, I add the ice, slap on the tin, then shake.


Personally, I don't think there is ever a good reason to use a room temperature pint glass. See here for more information and explanation.


--

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On Dec 12 2008, 01:40 PM, slkinsey said:

On Dec 12 2008, 01:32 PM, jsmeeker said:

On Dec 10 2008, 04:29 PM, slkinsey said:

Unless you chill the pint glass, you'll get a colder stirred drink by using the metal tin.


I too create my stir drinks in a pint glass. And it's always at room temperature. I've never even considered using a chilled pint glass. Which is kind of funny, since I keep a couple in my freezer all the time. I guess I should try this out.

FWIW, I also build my shaken drinks in room temp pint glass. Then, I add the ice, slap on the tin, then shake.


Personally, I don't think there is ever a good reason to use a room temperature pint glass. See here for more information and explanation.



I agree. Once you pointed out that the a room-temp mixing glass will suck up thermal energy and that a frozen glass will probably aid, rather than hinder the cooling process as a room-temp component in the process would, I never went back. I consistently get drinks that are really cold. It's the secret ingredient to a great martini, rather than a very good one.


nunc est bibendum...

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I like stirring with a chilled glass and Kold draft size ice. Coldest cocktail possible without chilling your booze. Takes a lot of turns that way though. Chilling your booze makes it impossible to get enough water into the mix. Plus it just kinda sucks.

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I'm surprised not to see any julep strainers here. I was looking at this one but wasn't sure what to look for. Thoughts? Sources?

I own this julep strainer. It does the job, but it is quite low quality. The metal is really thin - you could very easily squeeze it and bend the metal. I'd keep looking.

Someone asked why bother with a julep strainer. It's marginally easier to clean out bits of mint (hence the name) from a julep strainer than from a Hawthorne strainer. As Sam said, it's not a necessary tool, but I like having it in the collection.

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I think, and I am going on memory here, that Dave Wondrich explained in Imbibe! that the julep strainer got its name because it was originally placed on top of the ice in an actual julep to make it easier to drink without getting a facefull of ice.


--

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I think, and I am going on memory here, that Dave Wondrich explained in Imbibe! that the julep strainer got its name because it was originally placed on top of the ice in an actual julep to make it easier to drink without getting a facefull of ice.

That's what I remember too, with the addition that said facefull of ice might be all too painful for those who lived in the dark ages of dentistry.


nunc est bibendum...

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I got one of THESE bad boys while at Tales this past July and it's pretty cool. When I took it to work my fellow barkeeps wondered where I'd procured the "assassin bartender" tools. :biggrin: It works really well, especially on the large metal side of a Boston shaker if you're making multiples of the same cocktail. Feels good in the hand too...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Technique, perhaps merely style, question: when using your julep strainer, is the concave interior facing up out of the glass or down toward the ice? Any logic here to share?

Concave against the ice always. And the only reason I can think of is "It works better that way".

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Technique, perhaps merely style, question: when using your julep strainer, is the concave interior facing up out of the glass or down toward the ice? Any logic here to share?

Concave against the ice always. And the only reason I can think of is "It works better that way".

Toby

I use it that way as well, I think it is easier to hold with one hand that way in general since your finger doesn't have to reach as far to hold it in place. I have fairly large hands and it still is slightly awkward to hold the strainer the other way (ie like a spoon set in the glass). For people with smaller hands I would think it would be nearly impossible.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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A quick and easy solution is to buy a super cheap strainer with a big fat spring, take the spring out of your OXO, put it *inside* the bigger springs (like a train passing through a tunnel, or whatever less family-friendly metaphor you happen to prefer), and then put both springs back onto your OXO. ...

(Credit where credit is due: thanks to donbert for the tip.)

This is ingenious. And stolen. Thanks.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Yikes, at that price I'd hope it's good. Would you say it's worth 3X the price of the OXO?


 

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I'm not a big fan of the OXO strainer myself -- a bit small for my liking -- and I'm not sure what "worth the price" means to you, but I'm very glad I got it. I'll use it daily for another 30 or 40 years, so I'm not too worried about the one-time expense. But, hey, I bought a similarly pricey PUG! muddler and love it, too.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The pleasure obtained from using a well-made tool is hard to put a price on. What I can say is that I have both the WMF and the OXO. If the WMF is all sticky, as often as not I'll wash it rather than reach for the already clean OXO.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'll use it daily for another 30 or 40 years, so I'm not too worried about the one-time expense.

If the WMF is all sticky, as often as not I'll wash it rather than reach for the already clean OXO.

Those are two pretty good measures of 'worth' as far as I'm concerned. Duly noted.


 

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On 12 December 2008 - 07:40 PM, slkinsey said:


On Dec 12 2008, 01:32 PM, jsmeeker said:

On Dec 10 2008, 04:29 PM, slkinsey said:

Unless you chill the pint glass, you'll get a colder stirred drink by using the metal tin.


I too create my stir drinks in a pint glass. And it's always at room temperature. I've never even considered using a chilled pint glass. Which is kind of funny, since I keep a couple in my freezer all the time. I guess I should try this out.

FWIW, I also build my shaken drinks in room temp pint glass. Then, I add the ice, slap on the tin, then shake.


Personally, I don't think there is ever a good reason to use a room temperature pint glass. See here for more information and explanation.



For making drinks at home I agree entirely. However it becomes a lot more complicated in a commercial setting.

On a decent Saturday night I'll have 4 bartenders behind my main bar who are at the moment knocking out 6-700 cocktails between them. I'd love to keep the boston glasses chilled but I have neither the space nor the finances to keep that many out of action whilst chilling down.

We also make a point of making everything in a glass rather than tin purely due to the visual impact on customers. TBH a lot of long shaken drinks don't really suffer from using a glass at room temperature, for example if you're making some form of rum punch the relatively small increase in dilution is not really noticeable. Perhaps if you were to try the 2 side by side but the quality remains high enough in the room temperature example for it not to matter.

Where control of dilution is important, say in a Manhattan, we adopt a flash chilling method. The glass is filled with ice and this is gently stirred until the glass is cold to the touch. The glass is then topped up with fresh ice and all the water strained off, then you start making the drink. I prefer to keep the original ice in there rather than replacing it all a I find it gives me better control of the amount of dilution.

When it comes to the question of which way up to use the Julep strainer, it depends. I'm sure this has no scientific grounding but I like to consider all the various ice cubes as one solid block, I'll use the strainer whichever way up allows me to hold all the ice cubes together without disturbing them. With this in mind, the spoon is the first thing into the glass and is only removed after the drink is finished and the ice has been dumped in the sink.

Cheers,

Matt

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Where control of dilution is important, say in a Manhattan, we adopt a flash chilling method. The glass is filled with ice and this is gently stirred until the glass is cold to the touch. The glass is then topped up with fresh ice and all the water strained off, then you start making the drink. I prefer to keep the original ice in there rather than replacing it all a I find it gives me better control of the amount of dilution.

But isn't dilution desirable? Aren't drinks suppose to increase roughly 25% due to dilution? Or are you still getting enough dilution when the alcohol hits the strained ice and you then chill the liquid down by stirring?


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Imbibe magazine just did a gear test on this very topic, a la Cook's Illustrated, only a couple of months ago.

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