How to Crush Ice (Using a Lewis Bag)

How to Crush Ice (Using a Lewis Bag)

what you need to crush ice

  • Lewis Bag and Mallet or Muddler
  • Ice
  • Recipe and Cocktail Ingredients

how to crush ice

Some classic cocktails specifically call for crushed ice instead of cubes, like Cobblers, Swizzles, Brambles or Smashes. Usually, these drinks are extra boozy, extra sweet or simply could benefit from the rapid dilution. The large surface area of the small cubes melts quickly, taking those strong (in spirit or flavor!) cocktails and turning them into extremely drinkable concoctions. A Lewis Bag is the easiest tool for creating crushed ice. It is simply a heavy cotton-canvas bag that will absorb the extra moisture from the ice-melt and contain all your small crushed ice shards. Ready to start? Let's crush some ice!

  1. Open your Lewis Bag and fill halfway (or so) with large, sturdy ice cubes. Be sure to leave some room for your ice to break apart and move around in the bag. A thin layer of ice is easier to crush than a densely filled bag.
  2. Fold the flap over to secure the cubes in place.
  3. Use a large ice mallet (specialty!) or use your wooden cocktail muddler to smack the bag and crack the cubes into smaller crushed pieces.
  4. Go ahead and work out your aggressions! Hard day? Smash to your heart's content! But really, crushing ice is easy. A few good whacks will get the job done.
  5. Unfold your bag to find perfectly crushed ice shards for your favorite drinks!
  6. Use immediately or transfer to an insulated ice bucket.

tips for crushing ice

  • Create your own (bar-worthy!) solid ice cubes by using a 1x1 silicone ice mold. Ideal for prepping in advance and storing the cubes in your freezer.
  • Don't have a reusable cotton-canvas Lewis Bag? You can use a plastic resealable freezer bag! You may want to double bag your ice for this method, as the sharp edges from the ice can pierce the plastic, but it works great in a pinch.
  • Using ice from your freezer instead? You may not need to smash anything (darn!), as most ice-dispensers have a crushed ice setting. Lucky you!
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