The Mighty Lewis Bag: A Cocktail Essential

The Lewis bag is an essential tool in the world of . Crafted from thick and heavy-duty canvas, this bag is specifically designed for crushing ice into fine shards. It is often used in the making of classic drinks like the , where perfectly crushed ice is crucial for achieving the desired texture and flavor.

To use a Lewis bag, simply fill it with ice cubes and fold the top over to secure them inside. Then, grab a large wooden mallet and start pounding on the bag, applying force to the ice cubes within. The canvas material of the bag absorbs excess , ensuring that the ice is crushed evenly without becoming waterlogged.

But where did this ingenious tool originate? Surprisingly, the Lewis bag began its journey in the banking industry. Originally used to transport coins, its durability and ability to absorb water made it a perfect candidate for repurposing in the world of cocktails. Crafty bartenders of the 19th century saw its potential and started using it for drink preparation, and it has remained a staple in the industry ever since.

Taking care of your Lewis bag is important to ensure its longevity. It is recommended to machine wash it with cold water on a gentle cycle and then machine dry it on a medium setting. To promote cleanliness, you may also consider wrapping the bag in a clean and dry bar towel. Over time, the bag will soften and become more pliable with regular use.

The versatility of the Lewis bag extends beyond just crushing ice. Some innovative bartenders have found additional uses for it, such as infusing flavors into or creating homemade fruit and herb syrups. Its ability to absorb excess water makes it ideal for these applications as well.

The Lewis bag is a must-have tool for any serious cocktail enthusiast or bartender. Its sturdy construction and ability to crush ice to perfection make it an essential companion in creating the perfect drink. Whether you're making a classic Mint Julep or experimenting with new flavors, this versatile bag will prove to be an invaluable addition to your bar setup. So go ahead, grab a Lewis bag, and elevate your cocktail game to new heights.

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What Is A Lewis Bag Of Ice?

A Lewis bag is a specialized tool used in the cocktail industry for crushing ice into small, fine pieces. It is made of thick, heavy-duty canvas material that can withstand the force of being pounded with a large wooden mallet. The bag is typically used when making classic cocktails like the Mint Julep, where crushed ice is an essential component.

Here are some key points about the Lewis bag of ice:

1. Purpose: The primary purpose of a Lewis bag is to crush ice into a specific texture. It allows bartenders to create finely crushed ice that is ideal for certain cocktails, providing a refreshing and visually appealing drink.

2. Material: The bag is usually made of durable canvas, which can withstand the repeated pounding of the mallet without tearing or breaking. The thick material helps to prevent the bag from leaking or ripping during use.

3. Size and shape: Lewis bags are typically rectangular or cylindrical in shape, with varying sizes available. The bag's size may depend on the specific needs of the bar or individual bartender. However, most bags are designed to hold a sufficient amount of ice for standard cocktail recipes.

4. Crushing technique: To crush the ice, the bag is filled with ice cubes or larger chunks of ice. The bag is then folded or rolled up to secure the ice inside. The bartender uses a large wooden mallet to strike the bag repeatedly, applying force to break the ice into smaller pieces. This technique allows for precise control over the size and texture of the crushed ice.

5. Versatility: While the Lewis bag is commonly associated with making Mint Juleps, it can also be used for other cocktails that require crushed ice, such as the Daiquiri, , or . Its versatility makes it a valuable tool in the craft cocktail world.

A Lewis bag is a heavy-duty canvas bag used for crushing ice into fine shards. It is an essential tool for creating classic cocktails that require crushed ice, providing the desired texture and enhancing the overall drinking experience.


The Lewis Bag is an essential tool in the cocktail industry, known for its ability to crush ice into fine shards. This heavy-duty canvas bag, originally used by banks to transport coins, has found its way into bars and has become a staple for bartenders crafting classic drinks like the Mint Julep. The durability and water-absorbent nature of the bag make it perfect for this purpose.

Not only is the Lewis Bag functional, but it is also easy to maintain. It can be machine washed with cold water on a gentle cycle and dried on a medium setting. To promote cleanliness, some may choose to wrap the bag in a clean bar towel. Over time, the bag will soften and become more pliable with regular use.

The history and versatility of the Lewis Bag make it a must-have for any serious cocktail enthusiast or professional bartender. Its original purpose may have been far from mixology, but its durability and ability to crush ice with precision have made it an invaluable tool in the craft cocktail world. So, whether you are looking to perfect your Mint Julep or explore other creative concoctions, the Lewis Bag is a reliable companion for achieving the perfect crushed ice consistency.

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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.