Have you ever shaken or stirred your mixed drink, poured it into a glass, and gotten fed up because the ice cubes went into the glass along with the drink, even though you tried to block the ice cubes from going in with your fingers? For people who drink mixed drinks, this is more common than most people would like to admit or experience. If this happens to you a lot, you should buy a cocktail strainer. Cocktail strainers are metal bar accessories that help separate the ice from the mixed drink before you put it into your glass.
All you have to do is put your strainer over the mouth of the glass the drink was stirred in. The slits in the strainer will let the liquid come through, but nothing else. The Hawthorn strainer and Julep strainer are the two most popular strainers on the market today. The Hawthorn strainer is flat and circular with a ring of prongs going around the perimeter that resembles a slinky. The circular plate blocks the chunkier stuff while the liquid gets through the slits on the outside.
Julep strainer is concave and circular and will tightly into a mixing glass when on an angle. These strainers resembles what you use to drain water from a pot full of noodles. It had several holes that are small enough to keep solids in and large enough to let liquid
There are many other types of strainers, but these are the ones that you will see the most.
Resources for Martini shaker, Cocktail supplies and How to make a cocktail