How Do You Make Chewy Ice At Home?

Sometimes regular ice just will not cut it. Chewy ice, on the other hand, might just be the perfect addition to a drink that you are looking for.

With its slushy texture that is soft and chewable, it can also be a fun way to serve up drinks.

Remember how you always see it whilst you are out and about eating? Well, now you can make it at home, and it is actually really, really easy.

Also known as nugget ice, it is perfect to add in to snow cones, cocktails, cold desserts and so much more.

It really is a versatile way to create something cold and fun to either eat or drink.

Whether you want to kick biting on ice cubes (that could possibly damage the tooth enamel), or you are looking for ways to ice drinks instead of using conventional iced cubes – you have come to the right place!

This handy guide will help you to create your very own chewy ice at home ready for that next party, or for when you are at home and would like something a little different with your beverage.

Before You Begin

When making chewy ice at home, you might think it involves crushing hard ice, but if that was the case, the hard surface of the ice would feel like little bits of stone, rather than a smooth texture.

To make sure you are successful in making the correct crushed ice, there are a few things you will need, as well as the correct type of water.

So, before you begin removing the ice from your refrigerator, here are the items you will need:

Ice Cube Tray

The kind of ice cube tray you are likely to use will be plastic or silicone – either will do.

The standard type will be great for the job, but specifically, each of the molds need to be around 1.3 and 1.9cm wide.

Ice cube trays are also really easy to find if you do not have one already. Look at your local grocery store or even online.

Even so, you can still use a novelty ice cube tray if need be!

Unflavored Carbonated Water Or Club Soda

The main ingredient and the one that will help the ice to get its soft, chewy texture is either carbonated water or club soda.

Carbonated water has more bubbles in that plain regular water. This means that the bubbles will help to create that wonderful soft texture once it is frozen.

Club soda is what you have probably seen as a drink mixer, but will work perfectly for this.

Usually a manufacturer may add potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate or sodium citrate to help reproduce certain ingredients that can be found within natural mineral water.

You can also use flavored carbonated water. This will be fun if you are doing a snow cone because it will add delicious flavor.


When it comes to the blender, there are a few things you will need in order to create the perfect crushed iced, and how not to break the blender.

A blender that is most suitable for the act of crushing ice needs to have stainless steel blades in order to do the job properly.

If they are plastic, you are more likely to find your blender will break, or at least it may get damaged. Also, plastic blades may not help to achieve the type of crush iced that you are looking for.

A blender with a glass container and a 400-watt power setting is ideal also.

A Plastic Bowl

Likely, you will be crushing a whole tray of ice. This means there will be too much ice to blend at once, so doing it in batches will be necessary, otherwise you may risk overfilling the blender.

A plastic bowl will be a great way to put each batch of ice as you move onto the next one.

Keep in mind that crushed ice melts much faster than cubed ice, so it may be worth popping the bowl into the freezer during each blender use to stop it from melting, or if you will not be using it for a while.

If you are using it straight away, just use the bowl as somewhere to store it temporarily.

A Muddler

You might not be familiar with a muddler but you will realise why this is the perfect job when it comes to crushing ice.

A bartender will usually use a muddler to crush ice, herbs and fruits for drinks to use in delicious cocktails. Usually it is around 6 to 8 inches long and can be made of wood, plastic or stainless steel.

If you do not have a blender, then a muddler will be a handy tool to have to help you crush the ice.

Lewis Bag (Alternative To A Blender) Or Glass

Because not everyone has a blender in their kitchen, there is another option! If you do not mind crushing it manually, then you can use the muddler to crush the ice in a Lewis bag (which is a canvas bag in which you can crush ice cubes within).

The other way is crushing it in a glass like a bartender. It needs to be glass otherwise it may damage something like plastic.

The ice cubes will be softer than regular ice, so the arm strength and effort will not be the same. So, do not worry, it will not be like a gym workout!

The Process

ice cube tray with ice

Now that you know what you need it is time to start the process. Before long you will have that cold beverage with chewy ice in your hand.

Fill The Ice Cube Trays

The first step is to fill the ice cube trays with the club soda or carbonated water. Make sure you only fill each mold half full.

Due to it being a carbonated drink, it will have bubbles in it, so make sure it is freshly opened and has not gone flat.

How Long To Keep The Tray In The Freezer

Whilst placing it in the freezer, make sure the ice tray sits flat to avoid spillage. It is best to leave the ice in the freezer either overnight or for six hours.

You need to make sure it completely ices up. To check, put a finger onto the ice. If it holds its shape, it is frozen. If it cracks, then it is best to give the ice more time to freeze.

Taking The Ice Out

Once it is completely frozen, take out the ice tray. As you would normally with an ice tray, bend it back and forth to loosen and remove the ice. Pop them in a bowl.

Crush The Ice Cubes

This is the exciting part because you are actually making the crushed iced! Just make sure not to crush the ice too much. You are after small bits of ice, not completely softened ice.

Muddler – With a muddler, you can use it to crush a small amount of ice just like a bartender would.

You can do this by placing a small amount of ice in a glass and firmly pressing onto the ice using a rotating movement. This will crush the ice into small pieces.

If it is a large batch you need, then this is where the Lewis bag comes in. Place ice cubes into the bag and secure by folding down the flap. With the muddler, pound the bag until the ice cubes are crushed.

Blender – This one is basic, and probably a little more easier than using the muddler.

Place some ice cubes in a glass bowled blender remembering to leave room for ice movement, and let it do its job. Use a smoothie setting or if it has a crush setting, use that.

Serving The Crushed Ice

Now you have created chewy ice, you can pour it over drinks or make snow cones. It is always best to serve it immediately due to how quickly it melts.


Serving your own crushed ice made by yourself may take longer and have more steps involved than buying a dedicated machine, but overall it will save you a fair few dollars in the long run.

It is fun to know that you can create fun beverages for yourself or friends. It is a great alternative to hard ice cubes and will give you great pleasure in knowing how to add soft ice to cocktails and snow cones.