14 Best Ice Mallets For The Finest Crushed Ice In 2023: Reviews & Buying Guide
, by Joshua Soriano
, by Joshua Soriano
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The form and size of ice affect drinks differently. For instance, large ice cubes or spheres are great for hard liquors, like whiskey, because they dilute slower and thus provide just enough water to mellow out the strong flavors.
Crushed ice, in particular, is best suited for summer drinks that need to get cold fast and sipped quickly to beat the heat. It is famously used in Mint Julep, Moscow Mule, and various tropical and tiki drinks.
If you are fond of these drinks, you need the best ice mallets that efficiently crush or crack ice for your bartending needs. There are different materials and sizes, so choose the best one for your needs!
Best Overall: Viski Professional Ice Mallet and Lewis Bag
Easiest to Maintain: Outset Professional Lewis Bag and Ice Mallet Bartender Kit
Best for Batched Drinks: ANPHSIN Professional Lewis Bags and Ice Mallet Set
“I love the Viski Lewis Ice Bag and Mallet. The size of the Lewis bag is perfect for up to two drinks, and the ice mallet sits snugly inside for easy storage. The hardwood mallet has a handsome design, so it ends up as a conversation starter with our guests,” says Nick du Mortier, mixologist at Bar Pendry, Chateau Carbide.
“You want the ice mallet to be made of a durable material that holds up over time, which is why I love the beechwood used to make the Viski Mallet. The head is firmly attached to the handle, ensuring all your force goes into the ice. Overall, Viski has a strong reputation for its well-designed and durable products, and this mallet is no exception,” he adds.
Height: 12 inches | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Lewis bag
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“If you don’t have an ice crusher feature on your fridge, this mallet is an easy and environmentally friendly way to crush ice without buying another plastic gadget. We also love how it is rugged but still attractive and nicely designed.
The bag also doesn’t get soaked easily and can hold a tray of ice cubes, perfect for two 10-oz cocktails. After more than 10 drinks, the bag shows no distress, which is why we highly recommend it!”
Height: 12 inches | What’s Included: Lewis bag
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“The beechwood looks clean and classy so it won’t look out of place in a bar. We think the lack of varnish is not a hindrance to the mallet’s well-polished look.
Moreover, we love that it comes with a log muddler with well-pointed teeth to extract juice and oils from fruits and herbs easily. It is also strong enough to pound ice.”
Length: 11.81 inches | What’s Included: 2 Lewis bags and a muddler
Related: The Best Cocktail Muddlers
“We are impressed by how sturdy the mallet and Lewis bag are. The mallet is made from a very nice piece of wood and is easy to grip and clean. It is also huge but not overly heavy, and while it seems a bit bulky for muddling, it’s perfect for crushing ice.
This would also make a great addition to any bar set or a fantastic gift to people who enjoy making cocktails.”
Length: 13.5 inches | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Lewis bag
“The ice mallet has a nice weight, somewhere between heavy and light, and it does the job well. We also love the drawstring bag since it closes tightly, and you have the option to knot it, making it more secure than flaps.
We also appreciate that this set includes an ice scoop because it’s a convenient addition to the mallet and bag duo. It boasts a sleek mirror finish, sturdy welding of its handle, and a loop for easy hanging.”
Length: 12.6 inches | What’s Included: Lewis bag and ice scoop
Related: The Best Ice Scoops
“This well-crafted ice mallet is solid and extremely smooth. We needed a better ice crusher than those with a stainless metal piece in the plastic handle that breaks too easily.
It’s also large, light, easy to handle, and sure to damage ice whether you want it cracked, crushed, or even powdered. This would be the perfect tool for making tiki drinks!”
Length: 13.5 inches | Manufactured: China
Related: The Best Tiki Drink Garnishes
“We had no problem with the ice mallet and Lewis bag since both are of great quality. The wood felt sturdy enough to handle its crushing purpose. The ice mallet’s head also has angled sides which helps portion the crushed ice inside the bag.
This is a great alternative to the crush ice feature on refrigerators because even though it’s manual, it does the job quickly and doesn’t cost as much. It works like a charm on different sizes and pieces of ice, and it is quite cathartic!”
Length: 12 inches | Manufactured: USA | What’s Included: Lewis bag
“We like how this mallet’s handle has a varied shape as opposed to other ones with a straight form. We think it’s easier to hold this way, and it helps to distribute the whole mallet's weight evenly.
We also appreciate the sturdiness of the mallet because it can take on ice and other hard ingredients. The smooth edges also help reduce hand pain.”
Length: 9.5 inches
“We think this set is very convenient and a steal because it already includes four useful bar tools for under 20 bucks. All are durable and functional, making the set a practical gift option for cocktail-loving friends or relatives.
The ice mallet is well-made with a clean and smooth finish and a handle that feels good against the hand! Moreover, the tongs and scoop are both sturdy and look high-end!”
Length: 9.6 inches | What’s Included: Lewis bag, metal scoop, and ice tongs
Related: The Best Ice Tongs
Suzanne Miller-Smith, general manager and beverage director at Copas, states, “I recommend buying from a reputable company with a longstanding history of quality bar tools like Cocktail Kingdom. The Schmallet would be my go-to answer for function and durability. You will also need a Lewis bag to catch your crushed ice, and theirs does the job.
“The craftsmanship of the wood seaming is the most important variable for traditionally shaped bar mallets. Being poorly crafted could be the difference between getting a few months' worth of use out of your mallet and never having to reorder. Avoid quick knockoffs from basic buying websites and buy directly from a reputable craft source,” she further notes.
Length: 13 inches | Manufactured: USA | What’s Included: Lewis bag
“The ice mallet is made from natural beech wood, and we like how its characteristics are applied to the mallet - hard, tough, resistant to abrasions, and won’t easily break. It’s also nice to hold since it has an ergonomic handle, and its weight is evenly distributed.
The Lewis bag seems sturdy and thick enough, and the seams hold together well. Although it may exude an unpleasant smell, the company assures customers that it’s just because of the humidity and that there are no chemicals in the cotton. Allow the bag to dry in the sun to eliminate the smell.”
Length: 9.8 inches | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 2 Lewis bags
“We simply love the look on this ice mallet as the spliced wood adds a touch of uniqueness and elegance to the entire tool. There is no protruding head, making the surface look more beautiful and stable, and the handle is comfortable to grip.
The Lewis bag is adequately thick, so you can smash ice without worrying about ripping it. Furthermore, the bag is more spacious than other brands, providing ice for about four drinks.”
Length: 12 inches | What’s Included: Lewis bag and recipe book
“If you don’t have an ice crusher on your fridge, this ice mallet is what you need. It is crafted from nice wood and works better if treated with oil before use. It may be manual, but it can make crushed ice with just a few hits.
Furthermore, the cotton canvas bag is thick, durable, doesn’t shed fibers, and dries extremely quickly if you leave it out of the freezer. But, if you are getting holes in the bag, refrain from hitting it too hard.”
Length: 11.75 inches | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Lewis bag
“This set is a good deal because it includes two heavy-duty Lewis Bags along with the hammer. It lets you get frustrations out while crafting crushed ice for cocktails! Moreover, I suggest pounding the ice on a cutting board to protect your counter.
A spare bag is handy when the first one gets too wet. You can also have the ice crushed ahead of time and keep the bag in the freezer until the next use.”
Length: 11.8 inches | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 2 Lewis bags
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Different types of ice are formed using different tools, and one of the best ways to make crushed ice is to use a mallet. We recommend the Viski Professional Ice Mallet and Lewis Bag for their professional-grade quality and good value, making them a popular choice among bartenders and mixologists.
Which ice mallet are you most excited to try? We’d love to exchange thoughts in the comments below.
While most ice mallets are very similar, a few differences still prompt you to have a preference. Here are the factors to help you pick the most suitable one for you.
Often, the difference in quality and aesthetics may be traced to selecting the appropriate material. A mallet that looks great but is composed of low-quality materials will cost you more money in the long run.
Most ice mallets are made from beechwood, and for a good reason. Thanks to its fine and straight grain and non-porous quality, beechwood provides a smooth texture to the ice mallet and prevents scratches. It is also a hard and sturdy wood, capable of withstanding even the most powerful blows.
The quality of beechwood depends on how it is manufactured to make ice mallets. Some brands provide a lacquer finish to the mallet, giving it a shiny look and making it easier to clean. However, this will eventually flake off and may add an unpleasant taste to the ice.
Maple wood is another mallet material with similar durability to beechwood but looks more attractive.
It’s crucial to have the right balance of the head and the handle so you can swing the mallet effortlessly. It prevents strain on the hand and other accidents that frequently crop up when mallets are swung.
Aside from the weight, the height also contributes to how comfortable the mallet feels. The ideal length for an ice mallet is between 9 and 15 inches.
Big mallets take less time to pound ice, but they may feel too heavy after continuous use. In contrast, small mallets allow more control but take too much time to pound.
It's easy to see that there isn’t a wide spectrum regarding ice mallet designs. However, there are still nuances in the handle and head. Most handles are straight, but you can also find those with a slightly wavy shape, allowing the hand to have a firmer grip.
Moreover, most handles protrude through the head, which gives the mallet balance and stability. However, these tend to slide off over time. If you’re uncomfortable with this, choose those with a smooth top.
Alex Serena, Spirits Director at Teleferic Barcelona, says, “The wooden mallet has to be nice and broad and able to smash all the ice with just a few blows. And the bag has to be a nice thick canvas that would hold all the ice in place - no escapees.”
Ice mallets usually come with a Lewis bag, and some also include tongs, scoops, recipe books, etc. Choosing an ice mallet with extras would be an advantage, especially if you’re a beginner at mixology, as it is convenient and saves you a few dollars.
After use, wipe down the mallet with a damp cloth and allow it to dry. Then, apply mineral oil or butcher block oil with a soft cloth to maintain the mallet’s quality.
Mint Julep, Moscow Mule, and frozen Daiquiris are the most popular cocktails served with crushed ice. You can also see crushed ice in Rum Swizzle, Punch Romaine, Cranberry Cobbler, Planter’s Punch, and most Tiki cocktails.
We believe that our readers should have access to unbiased, well-informed reviews when deciding which products to buy, and we work hard to provide that type of content. Our editorial team is experienced and passionate about mixology and bar equipment. In addition, we often consult with industry professionals when gathering information, which gives us an insider's perspective on the products we're reviewing.
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