What It Really Means To Double Strain A Drink

Despite what films would have us believe, there is more to mixology than simply shaking or stirring a drink. There is something to how a cocktail is strained that can make it all the more smooth and refreshing. To achieve the best results, there is no better method than double straining. Also known as fine straining, this method is insurance against unwanted solids, such as fruit bits or ice, ending up in the finished cocktail. 

The smoothness of the double strain is achieved by passing the liquid through two different strainers. The first strainer is likely either a Hawthorne strainer or a Julep strainer, which is essentially a large, perforated spoon. The second strainer is a small, fine mesh strainer, which acts as the backup strainer in case any solids make it through the first one. The process is as simple as pouring the mixed cocktail through both strainers simultaneously, providing a smooth-as-silk drink. 

Which drinks to double strain and how to do it at home

Double straining is actually relatively new to the world of mixed drinks. Believed to have started in London sometime during the 1990s, the technique has taken hold in bars around the world. The goal is to provide the customer with as smooth a cocktail as possible. The mouthfeel of a drink is affected when there are too many ice chunks, however small in the drink. Plus, the double strainer is excellent for retrieving smaller herb remnants in a mojito or scooping out fruit left behind in something like a strawberry daiquiri.

To achieve a good double strain at home, you can use any old mesh or tea strainer you have lying around. You could also use cheesecloth or a coffee filter if you don't have a fine mesh strainer. It will achieve the same effect, and you don't have to go out buying any fancy equipment as a result. Overall, to double or not to double strain is a matter of preference. But if you're ordering a drink at a bar, chances are it's been double strained.