The Lewis Bag and Mallet Duo

The Lewis bag and mallet are essential tools in the world of . These two items, although seemingly simple, play a crucial role in creating the perfect drink experience. So, let's delve into the fascinating history and practical uses of the Lewis bag and mallet.

The Lewis bag, originally designed to transport coins in banks, found a new purpose when bartenders discovered its unique properties. Made of heavy-grade natural canvas, this durable bag became the go-to tool for crushing ice into fine shards. Crafted to withstand heavy use, the Lewis bag absorbs excess , ensuring that the ice remains dry and perfect for cocktail making.

To prepare a or any other cocktail requiring crushed ice, the Lewis bag is filled with ice cubes and securely closed. The bag is then placed on a sturdy surface, ready to be crushed. This is where the mallet comes into play.

The large wooden mallet, often made of hardwood, is used to pound the ice inside the bag, breaking it down into small, uniform pieces. Bartenders apply firm yet controlled force to achieve the desired consistency. The thick canvas of the Lewis bag prevents any ice from escaping, ensuring a mess-free process.

But why go through all this trouble? The answer lies in the texture and dilution that crushed ice provides. When a drink is prepared with crushed ice, it chills rapidly, enhancing the overall taste experience. The small ice shards also create a pleasant mouthfeel, allowing the flavors to harmonize perfectly.

The Lewis bag and mallet combination is not restricted to Mint Juleps alone. These tools are also used in various other classic cocktails, such as the Daiquiri or the . Their versatility and effectiveness have made them staples in any well-equipped craft cocktail bar.

To care for your Lewis bag, it is best to machine wash it with cold water on a gentle cycle. Afterward, machine dry it on a medium setting. To promote cleanliness, you may also consider wrapping the bag in a clean, dry bar towel. Over time, the bag will soften and become more pliable with regular use.

The Lewis bag and mallet are indispensable tools in the craft cocktail world. Their ability to crush ice into fine shards allows bartenders to create drinks with enhanced taste and texture. Whether you're a professional mixologist or a cocktail enthusiast at home, these tools are a must-have for elevating your drink-making skills. So, next time you're enjoying a refreshing Mint Julep, remember the humble yet essential Lewis bag and mallet that made it possible. Cheers!

What Is A Lewis Bag Used For?

A Lewis bag is a tool commonly used in the cocktail industry. It is made of thick and heavy-duty canvas material. The main purpose of a Lewis bag is to crush ice into fine shards, which is especially useful for making drinks like the Mint Julep. The process involves placing ice cubes inside the bag and using a large wooden mallet to hit and crush the ice. The result is finely crushed ice that is perfect for cocktails. The Lewis bag is known for its durability and effectiveness in producing the desired texture of ice. It is a staple tool in craft cocktail bars and is often considered essential for creating quality beverages.

lewis bag and mallet

What Is The Origin Of The Lewis Bag?

The origin of the Lewis bag can be traced back to the 19th century when it was initially used by banks for transporting coins. However, resourceful bartenders soon realized the bag's potential for drink preparation and started using it for their own purposes. The bag, made of durable canvas material, proved to be ideal for muddling ingredients and absorbing excess water during the cocktail-making process.

The Lewis bag's popularity in the bartending community grew rapidly due to its practicality and effectiveness. Crafted from a robust fabric, it could withstand the pressure applied when muddling fruits or ice, without tearing or breaking. Additionally, the bag's ability to absorb excess water ensured that the resulting drink had the perfect balance of flavors, as the unwanted liquid was absorbed by the bag, leaving behind only the essential elements.

The transition of the Lewis bag from a banking tool to a bartending essential is a testament to the ingenuity of 19th-century mixologists. By repurposing the bag, they were able to enhance the quality and presentation of their cocktails, attracting patrons with the unique flavors and textures they could achieve. Today, the Lewis bag continues to be a favored tool among bartenders and mixology enthusiasts, preserving its legacy as a versatile and reliable accessory for crafting exceptional drinks.


The Lewis bag and mallet are essential tools in the craft cocktail industry for crushing ice into fine shards. The Lewis bag, originally used by banks to transport coins, has found a new purpose in the hands of bartenders. Made of heavy grade natural canvas, it is durable and able to absorb excess water, making it ideal for ice crushing. The mallet, typically made of wood, is used to pound the ice inside the bag, creating the desired texture for drinks like the Mint Julep. Both the Lewis bag and mallet require proper care and maintenance. The bag can be machine washed with cold water on a gentle cycle and machine dried on a medium setting. Wrapping the bag in a clean and dry bar towel can help promote cleanliness. Over time, the bag will soften and become more pliable with regular use. Together, the Lewis bag and mallet are indispensable tools for bartenders looking to create high-quality cocktails with finely crushed ice.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.