Ice cubes are great, but sometimes crushed ice just tastes better, especially if you’re making icy treats like snow cones or specialty cocktails like a Moscow Mule or Mint Julep. Fortunately, it’s not so difficult to crush ice these days. Here are ten ways to crush ice for your next cocktail party or snow cone extravaganza!
Use an ice crusher
This one is so obvious we’re putting it first. If you crush a lot of ice then it’s probably worth the investment and counter space to add one of these gadgets to your kitchen or home bar. You can go modern or vintage, depending on your personal style.
Get fancy with a cocktail shaker
This is how the pros do it when they’re crushing ice for your mojito at a bar. Just drop a few ice cubes into the shaker and break it part using a “muddler” – a tool like a pestle used to mash fruit or herbs in the bottom of a glass before adding the liquids. It works great for ice too.
Throw your ice cubes into a blender
This is a handy short cut for crushed ice, especially if you’re fixing blended drinks like margaritas or daiquiris. Just keep in mind that not all blenders are designed with ice-crushing capabilities, so be sure to check the specifications before you buy or you may get slushy ice instead of crushed ice!
Crush ice with a food processor
Some models come with a blade specifically for ice crushing. Another reason to love this multi-functional kitchen tool!
Here’s a second pro technique. Wrap ice cubes in a lint-free cloth and bang it repeatedly against a hard surface. Check out this video for a demonstration!
Try using a Lewis Bag
Originally designed as a coin bag for banks, this is a sturdy canvas sack that you can purchase from any cocktail supply store. You put the ice inside it and use a wooden mallet to break it up to the desired consistency. As an alternative, you can use a sturdy plastic bag from the kitchen, or even an old, clean pillowcase.
Alternatives for a wooden mallet include:
- The side of a hammer
- A meat tenderizer
- The back of a large spoon
- A rolling pin
- A baseball bat
We recommend using the baseball bat outdoors.
Kick it old school with an ice cracker
This is an old-fashioned tool that still gets good results, especially if you want cracked ice instead of crushed ice. To use, hold an ice cube or two in your hand or in a towel and tap it with the cracker until the ice reaches the desired consistency.
The frozen plastic bottle technique
We love this method for crushing a block of ice made in a 2-liter plastic bottle. Freeze a plastic water bottle not entirely full of water and them tap it gently with a hammer until its broken up. Then slice it open, pour it out, and you’re ready to party!
Invest in the right refrigerator
Too lazy to crush your own ice? Then you can always invest in a refrigerator with a built in ice crusher. All you need to do it press the button and you’ll get all the crushed ice you want.
What’s your favorite way to crush ice? Leave a comment and let us know!