Best julep strainer

Utensils & Tools

The julep strainer was used in the 19th-century to keep ice in a glass while sipping but is more commonly used today to strain a cocktail before it’s served.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which julep strainer is best?

Looking to up your cocktail game and keep shards of ice and other ingredients out of your drinks? Julep strainers are the ideal cocktail strainer for separating ice from your cocktail before serving. This perforated, round strainer is a staple bar tool for making classic cocktails at home. 

Julep strainers are for far more than just mint juleps. They’re great for spirit-forward cocktails like negronis and Manhattans. For a julep strainer ideal for bar professionals and novice mixologists alike, the Barfly Scalloped Julep Strainer, Stainless Steel is the best choice for functionality and aesthetics.

What to know before you buy a julep strainer 


Julep strainers are typically oval-shaped and can include optional scalloped edges for added aesthetic appeal. Oval julep strainers are easier to hold securely to the glass and prevent spillage or loss of control, whereas a scalloped cocktail strainer allows you to quickly pour drinks by allowing liquid to run freely through. Which one to use comes down to the preference of the mixologist. 

Material and finish

When it comes to julep strainers, there are a lot of options when it comes to aesthetics. Julep strainers are typically made from metal and may include wood or plastic parts, such as a handle accent. 

You can choose a julep strainer with a finish that fits your aesthetic or matches the other bar tools in your collection. Copper, gold, silver, rose gold and matte black are all popular options.


Julep strainers have short and relatively thick handles, which make the strainer easy to hold and use. If you prefer a longer handle, look for a julep strainer whose handle is thinner and longer like a spoon handle. 

What to look for in a quality julep strainer 


Look for reviews that indicate the julep strainer withstands normal use and lasts through more than a few cocktail parties. Good bar tools are ideally a one-time purchase, so don’t choose budget-friendliness over quality. 

Hole size

While julep strainers tend to have uniformly sized holes, watch out for strainers with unusually wide or small holes, as well as julep strainers that seem to have too few holes to allow liquid to pour easily through. 

How to use a julep strainer to strain a cocktail 

Straining a cocktail with a julep strainer is easy. Hold the strainer in your nondominant hand and cup it to the top of your mixing glass, which should be in your dominant hand. The spoon should hug the rim of the glass, facing down to allow ice to rest inside the spoon’s bowl. 

Hold the julep strainer securely to the rim of the glass with your index finger and thumb. Slowly pour your cocktail through the strainer into a mixing glass. 

How much you can expect to spend on a julep strainer

Julep strainers are relatively cheap and typically cost $5-$10 for a single strainer. You can also find strainer sets that contain julep strainers for $25-$60. 

Julep strainer FAQ

What’s the difference between a Hawthorne strainer and a julep strainer?

Julep strainers and Hawthorne strainers are used for separate jobs and generally shouldn’t be used in place of each other. Julep strainers appeared in bars before Hawthorne strainers and are today typically used for stirred drinks, whereas Hawthorne drinks are more commonly used for shaken drinks. Hawthorne strainers fit more snugly into your mixing glass to prevent ice, fruit and messier ingredients like egg whites from escaping the glass. Julep strainers, on the other hand, are more convenient to use for cocktails that contain only spirits and ice. 

Can I use my julep strainer for things other than cocktails?

Absolutely. You can use a julep strainer for just about anything you can use a slotted spoon for, as they’re similar in design and function. Be sure to thoroughly wash your strainer if it comes in contact with food. 

How should I wash my julep strainer? 

Wash your julep strainer by hand with soap and warm water. Washing by hand will ensure the longevity of your bar tools. Place on a clean towel to dry. 

What’s the best julep strainer to buy?

Top julep strainer

Barfly Scalloped Julep Strainer, Stainless Steel

Barfly Scalloped Julep Strainer, Stainless Steel

What you need to know: A trusted brand beloved for high-quality bar tools presents a stylish and functional julep strainer that’s a cut above the rest. 

What you’ll love: Beautiful, durable and easy to use. This julep strainer is the ideal addition to your bar cart supply arsenal and will make it easy to create artisanal cocktails while at home in your slippers. Its high quality means it may be the last you ever buy. 

What you should consider: It’s a bit smaller than other models. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top julep strainer for the money

Summit Copper Julep Strainer by Viski

Summit Copper Julep Strainer by Viski 

What you need to know: A bartender-recommended julep strainer with a classic design ideal for straining a variety of cocktails. 

What you’ll love: Versatile, durable and comfortable to use. This julep strainer features well-spaced holes which allow your cocktail to drain quickly without allowing ice and seeds to leave the strainer. 

What you should consider: The finish on this strainer may fade after several uses. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Copper-Coated Julep Strainer

Copper-Coated Julep Strainer

What you need to know: For beginners and mixology pros alike, this aesthetically pleasing cocktail strainer has a large ice capacity to quickly strain cocktails without making a mess. 

What you’ll love: Among the most comfortable julep strainers to use due to its ergonomic handle, which nestles into your palm. Its attractive, modern design includes a gap in the handle for easy hanging storage. 

What you should consider: Some users found that this julep strainer has a loose fit on standard mixing glasses. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss