How to Crush Ice

Here’s how to crush ice: the easy way! It makes the perfect powdery crushed ice for cocktails and mixed drinks.

How to crush ice

Making a cocktail that calls for crushed ice? Oddly enough, it’s a little trickier than you might think. Some methods call for whacking the ice with a rolling pin. While it’s kind of fun to get your aggression out that way, it’s very loud: and it doesn’t result in even pieces of ice! After making 200+ cocktail recipes, we knew we had to get this one right. So we’ve mastered how to crush ice: the easy way! Here’s what to do.

How to crush ice…the easy way!

We’ve tested all the different methods for how to crush ice: the rolling pin, the blender, and the food processor. Which method is best? The blender! The blender was the most powerful method. Here’s the key: add a little water to the mix, which makes it much easier to pulse. Then you’ll strain out the water when you’re done! Here’s the specifics:

  • Place your ice cubes in a blender with water. You can use any amount of ice, but it’s easiest with at least 2 to 3 cups. Then add cold water to cover half the ice.
  • Pulse. Pulse until you see a majority of chunks that are 1/4-inch in size.
  • Strain. Use a mesh strainer to strain out the water. If necessary, use your hands to pull out large chunks of ice. Voila!
How to crush ice

Alternative method: crushed ice tray

Don’t want to make crushed ice? You can also use a crushed ice tray. Here’s the one we use: Mini Ice Cube Tray. Here are the pros and cons to this handy invention:

  • The pros: You don’t have the mess and effort of using the blender.
  • The cons: The tray makes little square cubes, which isn’t exactly crushed ice. The real stuff has a slushy texture that’s not quite replicated by the tray (see the photo below). Personally, we prefer the blender method: it gets just the right texture.
Vodka cranberry cocktail
Using a crushed ice tray makes small cubes of ice…it works, but it’s not exactly crushed ice

Storage info

Once you’ve made your crushed ice, you can store it in the freezer until you need it. Place it in a sealed container until you’re ready to use it. If you need to, break up any chunks that have frozen together. Then you’re ready to use it in cocktails and mixed drinks!

Crushed ice cocktails

There are lots of cocktails that call for crushed ice: and we’ve got recipes for all of them! Crushed ice adds a very specific texture to a mixed drink that’s important to preserve. Here are our favorite cocktails that use it:

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Bramble cocktail

How to Crush Ice


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to crush ice: the easy way! It makes the perfect powdery crushed ice for cocktails and mixed drinks.


Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • Cold water

Instructions

  1. Add the ice to a blender. Add cold water to cover about half the ice. Pulse until the majority of the ice forms chunks about 1/4” in size.
  2. Dump the mixture into a mesh strainer. If necessary, pick out larger chunks of ice. Store the crushed ice in the freezer.
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Cocktials

Keywords: How to crush ice

More cocktail basics

Love making cocktails at home? Here are a few more cocktail skills to master:

Last updated: March 2021

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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