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I'm at a loss for what these things are for - they came in a bag with some other things I bought at a thrift store.

unidentified kitchen tool

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

They're cocktail strainers, and they do what they sound like! More precisely, you use it to strain the cocktail on the way out of the shaker.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail_strainer

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Specifically, this is the variety known as a "Hawthorne strainer" per its inventor, typically used when straining from a mixing tin. There is also a variety known as a "Julep strainer" used for cocktails stirred in a mixing glass: worldwidedrinks.com/julep.html –  logophobe May 29 at 21:06
    
@logophobe The presence in the page you linked of the word olive's repeated several times is highly offensive to mine eyes!!! –  ErikE May 29 at 23:57
    
Thank you! Question about etiquette here: should I change the title to somehow include the words "Hawthorne strainer"? –  jpadvo May 30 at 2:54
    
@ErikE I won't argue with you there - I was looking mostly at the pictures of the strainers. But now I have to keep the link so that your comment makes sense in context. –  logophobe May 30 at 3:04
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One important thing to know is that these are made to fit a specific size of glass or metal shaker. You can use them on any glass as long as it's rim is the right size. –  GdD May 30 at 8:04

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