Just curious: do y’all use the julep strainer concave-side-up or concave-side-down?
Whichever way works best? (I find I seldom use julep strainers any more—maybe I would if I had a magical fit?)
Like Martin, I seldom use a julep strainer, so I usually adopt this approach:
- Insert strainer concave side down.
- Lift mixing vessel, with finger pressing down on strainer handle.
- Realize it feels terribly wrong and may be about to torque apart to deleterious effect.
- Curse very quietly while quickly returning vessel to counter.
- Flip strainer concave side up.
- Glance furtively to make sure no one saw.
- Strain drink successfully into a chilled glass; garnish as directed; fail to learn from mistakes.
I still like using it, for presentation purposes at home. I have a dry bar in my living room, and one of the two Hawthorne strainers is probably already dirty from making another drink.
I like concave side down, due to the slope of the handle.
But as others mentioned, it truly doesn’t matter. It’s what works best for you and your situation.
I use a julep strainer for stirred drinks (not a fancy one) and it’s always concave side down. Lately I leave the barspoon in as well. It’s thumb/middle/ring/pinky around the top of the mixing glass and index finger holding the strainer in place.
The consistent theme here is fit. Of course, fit can be a problem with Hawthorne-type strainers, too, but they have those tabs that make it easy to keep in securely in place with a finger, whereas the julep has to be within some compatible range of diameter to the vessel, plus you have to have enough of something (ice, usually) for it to press up against, or things get awkward. The latter probably has a lot to do with the concave/convex question.
I have a lovely julep strainer that sits, almost eternally unused, in the drawer. Every once in a while I use it out of guilt, and as I do so, I think: “You know, I’d rather be using my Oxo Hawthorne strainer.”
I have a beautiful julip strainer that’s part of my more “showy” barware. I usually use it (concave side down) with cocktails that only get shaken with cubes and that I want to pour in front of the guest at the table. Otherwise I use any other strainer available
New here, so I’m just spouting off my thoughts on a few threads that have stood out to me. Anyway…
I have sort of revitalized the julep strainer for myself by using it for shaken cocktails that have any muddled ingredients. Hawthorne strainers always give me hell with bits of pepper or herbs, etc. Straining with a julep strainer into a fine tea strainer is so much more efficient for working in bar settings. Just a quick rinse of the julep strainer and reset. No more wrestling with debris wedged in springs.
It’s always been a bit awkward for me, but I will use it concave side down. I do see them used much more in the wild. Once or twice in bars I’ve seen the handle wildly bent so that it can be held in position with one hand, somewhat down inside the mixing glass. (I feel like I might have observed this at Trick Dog years ago.)
For me, a Hawthorne strainer is just easier, so that’s normally what I use. It’s especially helpful when I’m double-straining. I’d need a lot more practice to pull that off gracefully using a julep strainer.
It was in the Morganthaler bar book he specified concave down.
I don’t think it matters but if the fit is awkward you may have needed more ice in the mixing glass. Most reccomend ¾ full with ice, I like it just a but more than that so as to avoid any floating ice after stirring. I find the julep sits at a 20°-30° and is easier to hold when there is ice nearer to the top, otherwise your index finger is probably awkwardly wrapping in over the mixing glass lip.