The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Forty Six
We often hear about the history of famous cocktails and spirits. But what about the tools?
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In today’s Episode…
We’re taking some time to talk briefly about the history of the two most famous cocktail tools – the Shaker and the Strainer.
Arguably, using a closed container to mix a drink by shaking isn’t terribly unique. In fact, it’s been done for thousands of years. (Listen to the episode for the next big thing in organic cocktail shakers!) I’d also argue that cocktail “shaking” is actually the original flair – because the story goes that it was done “for a bit of a show” in a hotel bar in the late 19th century.
The Julep strainer far preceded the hawthorne style. At some point in the 1800’s the julep strainer diverged from a sort of flat, wide, perforated spoon into a strainer specifically used for drinks. The first mention of a strainer using a spring didn’t come until the late 1800’s.
One thing we couldn’t find is an explanation for the name “Hawthorne” for a Hawthorne strainer. If you know where this word came from, we’d love to know! Definitely let us know in the comments below. Really, curiosity is killing us!
Thanks so much for all of the replies! It sounds as though David Wondrich covered this topic in the new edition of his book, Imbibe. Listener Dustin even went so far as to send this link with a great picture. Hawthorne strainers are named after the pattern punched in them, which was after The Hawthorne bar.
Listen to the episode for more – and keep an eye out! This Podcast is just the beginning – we’re in the process of creating a whole series about the history of different bar tools. We’ll include links as soon as they are published!
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Thanks for Listening!
Stay tuned for our upcoming series on the history of cocktail tools – and definitely let us know if you know where the name “Hawthorne strainer” came from, we’d love to know!
David Wondrich says that the Hawthorne strainer is named because a popular model had the word “Hawthorne” written in little holes around the edge. Advertising for the Hawthorne Cafe in Boston, because the Hawthorne Cafe’s owner bought the patent rights. Its on pg. 55 of the revised version of “Imbibe!”
The julep strainer was used with the mint julep (it was part of th served cocktail) to hold back the ice and mint before the era of the straws. Straws although popular were not mass produced. So to enjoy your beverage you needed something to hold back the ice and the muddled mint.
Thanks so much everyone for your comments – I should have known that David Wondrich would have mentioned the history of the name “Hawthorne!” Thanks for solving the mystery 🙂
I enjoyed this, as always. Did you know about cocktail shakers in the shape of teapots? It was a thing for a while… there’s some info on our blog here:http://www.alliterative.net/blog/2014/11/5/cocktail-2 and there’s a link there to a fuller history of shakers. Fun stuff!
I did not know about teapot-shaped shakers – I suppose with the strainer in the neck of the pour-spout that could work!