How to crush ice

By Timo Torner / Last updated on December 4, 2023

Here's the easy way to make perfect crushed ice for cocktails. Learn how to crush ice like a pro.
How to crush ice

Some cocktails only work with crushed ice. Unfortunately, crushing ice into the perfect consistency can be tricky. 

Also, many ways to produce crushed or cracked ice require quite some force. Using a Lewis bag, tea towel, or a hand crank ice crusher are just a few of them. 

After preparing countless batches of crushed ice, we mastered our crushed ice production. Now making perfect powdery crushed ice is a matter of minutes. Here's how to do it.

How to make crushed ice easily

By far the best method for making crushed ice is using a blender. Blending ice cubes is the best and easiest way to get perfectly crushed ice.

And like with most DIY projects, there's a secret tip to get this right. Because by adding just a bit of water to the ice cubes, the blending is much easier.

Crushed ice pieces quarter inch size

And don't worry, your ice won't be watery. You can easily strain out the water after the ice is crushed. So here's how to crush ice cubes:

  1. Add clear ice cubes into a blender together with a bit of water. Adding at least 3 cups of ice makes it easier for the blender to process the ice, so don't use less.
  2. Pulse the blender until most of your ice cubes are only a quarter-inch in size.
  3. If the ice is ready, strain it with a large mesh strainer. If some ice sticks to the bottom, quickly pull it out with your hands, so it does not melt.

In case you don't have a blender available, here are some other, more time-consuming options for how to do crushed ice.

Alternative method: The Lewis bag

The Lewis bag is a sturdy canvas bag. Fill it with ice, close the flap, and crush the ice with a mallet. There's quite some effort and force involved in this procedure, but the results are excellent.

Lewis ice bag and mallet

Making crushed ice with a Lewis bag is a professional-looking way. Therefore, should you be a fan of traditional methods, cracking and crushing your ice with this bag is a great alternative.

However, it definitely requires more effort and time to get the ice to the perfect consistency.

If you want to try it out, here are some nice sets available online.

Alternative #2: Hand cranked ice crusher

A hand-cranked ice crusher might come in handy if you want to crush your ice by hand without using a blender. They're inexpensive and easy to use.

However, most of the cheaper models don't last very long. So if you plan to get one, look for a more sturdy version.

Hand cranked ice crusher

Also, ensure you aren't too brutal when crushing your cubes. Otherwise, even the sturdiest crusher could eventually break.

When making some small batches of cracked ice for your next Mint Juleps or Rum Swizzles, this tool certainly works. But when you plan for larger amounts, stay away from this option and try to get hold of a blender.

Alternative #3: Use pebbled ice

Pebbled ice is a new trend in (home) mixology. Simply buy some mini ice cube trays, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer.

You'll get small ice cubes already close to the size of crushed ice pieces. However, these little pebbles look nice but are not actual crushed ice.

The consistency is not the same, and especially when making Swizzle cocktails, pebbled ice is a no-go. But it can be a wonderful alternative to shaken drinks like a Mai Tai.

How to store crushed ice

Once your crushed ice has the desired consistency, you can use it straight away, or you can store it for later use. Just put it into a sealable container and put it in the freezer.

Be aware, though, that some of the ice might clump together, so before using it, you might have to break some larger chunks apart.

Crushed ice cocktails

The slush-like consistency makes crushed ice cocktails the perfect summer drinks. Here are our favorites:

How to crush ice

How to make Crushed Ice

The easiest way to produce perfect crushed ice for cocktails and other mixed drinks.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: crushed, ice
Calories: 0.01kcal
Cost: $0


  • 1 Blender


  • 3 cups Ice cubes
  • Cold water


  • Put the ice cubes into the mixer and add water to cover at least half of the ice.
  • Pulse blend until the ice cubes are approximately a quarter-inch in size.
  • Strain, and your crushed ice is ready for use. -Or store it in a sealable container and put it in the freezer.


Serving: 4ozCalories: 0.01kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More bartending basics

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

Receive our latest recipes, reviews, and insights - straight to your inbox.
Subscription Form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

ContactAbout usPrivacy PolicyTermsSitemap
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

© 2023