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Today, we’re steering off the cocktail mixing track a bit to highlight a crucial accessory that doesn’t always receive the credit it deserves. The trusty ice bucket.
An ice bucket might appear as a simple container, but in reality, it’s a silent hero behind every perfectly chilled cocktail and an indispensable tool for any serious bartender.
The best ice buckets not only preserve the right temperature of your ice but also add an elegant touch to your bar set-up, creating a professional ambiance for your guests.
So if you’ve found yourself endlessly searching for the ideal ice bucket, look no further. I’ve compiled a list of the 8 best ice buckets for bartenders so you can find one that caters exactly to your bartending needs.
Let’s get into it…
1. Tiken 3L Large Vacuum Insulated Ice Bucket
First on the list is the Tiken Vacuum Insulated Ice Bucket. This bucket is my personal favorite and is our top pick for bartenders.
Firstly, it’s designed to keep your beverages cold for an extended period thanks to its double-walled and vacuum-insulated construction.
And you won’t have to worry about the outer surface of the bucket getting wet, ensuring a clean, dry space on your countertop.
We love that! Nothing worse than a soaking wet countertop after you’ve left the ice bucket on there for too long.
The construction is GREAT, being made out of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. It’s the perfect choice for high-traffic establishments like bars, restaurants, and hotels. The seamless design also means no hidden spots for dirt, making it a breeze to clean.
The user-friendly design of this bucket is amazing. It looks great in any home bar and even comes with a stainless-steel tong that has sharp teeth for a secure grip on ice cubes, minimizing the risk of spills and mess.
The hooked design allows the tong to hang from the bucket when not in use and another handy feature is the removable strainer, which separates the ice cubes from melted water.
If you’re not sure which ice bucket you should choose, I strongly recommend going with this one as it has all of the features you need for bartending and more.
- Exceptional insulation keeps ice cold for a long period.
- Durable and seamless stainless-steel construction ensures longevity.
- User-friendly design with handy tools like tongs and a strainer.
- A 3-liter capacity reduces the need for constant refills.
- The stainless steel construction, while durable, might feel a bit heavy when the bucket is full.
2. BREKX Insulated Metal Ice Bucket For Parties
Crafted from thick, double-walled stainless steel, this insulated ice bucket is 100% leak-proof, rust-resistant, and sweat-proof, ensuring longevity and consistent performance.
It offers a generous 3-gallon capacity, plenty for hosting large gatherings or for busy bars, cutting down on those frequent trips for refills.
There’s nothing more annoying than having to run down to refill your ice bucket every 20 minutes, so opting for a bucket that’s large enough to keep the party going is crucial.
When it comes to aesthetics, the elegant gold handles not only assist with lifting but also add a touch of sophistication, making it a fantastic gift choice for loved ones.
With a zero-leak design, your countertops will remain clean and dry during use. It’s easy enough to care for and simply requires you to dry after use.
This product is perfect for larger gatherings where you need to keep large quantities of ice cool for long periods.
- A versatile dual-purpose design enhances functionality.
- Durable, leak-proof, and rust-resistant construction ensures long-lasting use.
- Gold handles add aesthetic appeal and facilitate lifting.
- Its large size may pose storage challenges in smaller spaces.
3. OXO Good Grips Double Wall Ice Bucket
Another personal favorite of mine is this OXO double-walled ice bucket. It’s a fantastic option for any bartender as it’s packed with features that make serving drinks a breeze.
The removable garnish tray keeps garnishes cool and protected, which is perfect for those summer cocktails whilst the nylon tongs with sharp teeth ensure you can easily grab ice, and when not in use, they conveniently hang on the side of the bucket.
An internal reservoir design prevents meltwater from diluting your ice cubes, ensuring that your cocktails remain consistent in flavor.
The clear, hinged lid lets you check the remaining ice without lifting the lid and keeps everything hygienically covered. It looks amazing too and is portable which allows you to use it for picnics and BBQs during the summer months.
- Removable garnish tray for chilled garnishes.
- Convenient storage for tongs.
- Meltwater reservoir keeps ice solid for longer.
- Clear hinged lid for easy ice level checking.
- Looks great.
- Nylon tongs may not be as durable as stainless steel ones.
- The bucket design might not cater to larger bartending needs due to the space taken by the garnish tray.
4. Corona Beverage Bucket With Wire Handle
If it’s cheap and cheerful you’re after, this Corona beverage bucket has got you covered. It’s not much of a looker but is perfect for garden parties or taking with you for a summer vacation.
It’s a simple and affordable ice bucket that does exactly what it says on the tin. The holder is 9″ x 7″ H, complete with a silver wire handle that features a quirky plastic lime grip.
This holder is great for carrying and holding beverages, whether it’s beer, soda, or pre-mixed cocktails. However, remember that it’s more suited for quick serving rather than long-term beverage storage.
- Official Corona merchandise adds a fun vibe to your bar.
- Practical size for carrying and holding various beverages.
- A cool lime grip on the handle
- Not insulated, so may not keep beverages cold for extended periods.
- Lacks additional features like tongs or lids.
- Basic as they come.
5. Wenegg Ice Bucket With Lid, Scoop, Tongs & Strainer
The WENEGG Ice Bucket Set offers excellent functionality, ensuring a smoother and more efficient way to keep your ice cool and keep the drinks flowing.
This set’s design features double-wall insulation with a securing lid, significantly extending the duration your ice stays frozen. An included strainer further helps by separating ice cubes from melted water.
The bucket is easy to clean and BPA-free, assuring safe use. It’s resistant to denting, scratching, and rusting, promising longevity.
This set is suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities, blending well with indoor decor and making a statement outdoors. The bucket’s versatility also makes it perfect for BBQs, parties, and home bars.
- Effective insulation keeps ice frozen longer.
- Easy to clean and BPA-free for safe use.
- Resilient material resists dent, scratch, and rust.
- Suitable for a wide range of settings.
- The modern design may not suit more traditional or rustic bar decors.
6. Snowfox Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Ice Bucket
This 3-liter bucket is the perfect blend of timeless style and practicality. Made from insulated stainless steel, it ensures your ice and drinks stay cool as a cucumber, just the way you want them.
What makes this bucket a favorite? Its ‘floating’ lid with a side holder and included tongs. It’s not just fun to use, it’s also super handy when you’re in the middle of a buzzing cocktail party.
And the best part? It doesn’t “sweat,” so you can carry it around easily without leaving a trail of water behind.
Crafted with food-grade stainless steel in a double-wall design, it’s pretty sturdy and keeps everything inside cool for a long time.
You can pop open a beer or a wine bottle, chat with your guests, serve a couple of cocktails, and when you come back, you’ll still find your ice cubes intact. And for those busy nights, you’ll be happy to know it’s dishwasher-safe, making the cleanup a breeze.
- Timeless style complements any bar decor.
- Durable, vacuum-insulated, stainless-steel construction.
- Floating lid design with a side holder for ease of use.
- Dishwasher-safe for effortless cleanup.
- The modern design may not suit all bar aesthetics.
7. Colleta Hammered Ice Bucket
This stainless steel Colleta ice bucket comes with a unique hammered finish that adds that special touch of class. Need a housewarming gift or something special for a cocktail-loving friend? This is the one!
This 3-quart gem is the perfect way to serve up chilled drinks at your next gathering. It’s double-walled, which means even if your party goes into overtime, your ice won’t tap out.
It’s not the cheapest option but it’s like the superhero of them all, keeping your cocktails perfectly chilled all night long whilst looking the part.
- Eye-catching hammered finish.
- Good size with a 3-quart capacity.
- Double-walled to keep your ice icy.
- Might be a bit too fancy for some.
- It’s on the smaller side, so if you’re throwing a massive party, you might need a backup.
8. Malmo Double-Walled Ice Bucket
This stylish bucket is not just about good looks but also offers serious function. Measuring 18.5 x 17.5 x 23.1 cm and boasting a capacity of 3 liters, it’s got ample space for all the ice you need to chill your favorite beverages.
The brushed stainless steel body resists fingerprints, keeping it looking sharp even during the busiest parties.
The bucket is double-walled, ensuring your ice stays frozen for longer and any condensation stays within the walls, keeping your counters dry.
The ice bucket comes with a set of stainless steel tongs, complete with teeth for easy ice grip. So, when you’re serving up drinks at your next gathering, you can smoothly and efficiently add ice to cocktails, vodka, juice, or soda.
- Decent size for most home bars.
- Aesthetically pleasing brushed stainless steel body that resists fingerprints.
- Double-walled design to keep ice cold for longer and prevent condensation.
- Stainless steel tongs with teeth for hassle-free ice serving.
- The copper design might not blend well with every decor style.
What To Look For In An Ice Bucket
When you’re looking to choose the right ice bucket, there are several factors to consider. Not all ice buckets are created equal, and what works for a casual home bartender might not cut it for a professional mixologist.
Here are some key features to look for:
This is arguably the most critical feature. The bucket should be able to keep your ice frozen for a considerable amount of time. Look for a double-walled or insulated design that helps maintain the ice’s temperature, preventing rapid melting.
>> Read more: 6 BEST Blenders For Cocktails
Size and Capacity
Consider how much ice you typically use during your bartending sessions. If you’re frequently hosting large parties or running a busy bar, you’ll need a larger capacity bucket. However, if it’s for personal use, a smaller one should suffice.
>> Read more: 8 BEST Cocktail Shakers For Bartenders
An ice bucket should be robust and sturdy, able to withstand regular use without getting dents or cracks. Materials like stainless steel and high-quality plastic are commonly used due to their durability.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Ice Tongs For Bartenders
The design of the ice bucket should complement the aesthetic of your bar or serving area. Choose a style that matches your other bartending tools and the overall look and feel of your space.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Beer Coolers To Keep Beers Frosty
Many ice buckets come with additional tools like tongs or a scoop for handling the ice, and a lid to keep the contents clean. These can be very convenient and should be made with materials that are equally durable.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Ice Molds For Bartenders
Some ice buckets include a strainer or drain system to keep the ice above any melted water. This helps keep your ice from becoming waterlogged and melting too quickly.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Bartending Kits For Bartenders
What is the best material for an ice bucket?
The best material for an ice bucket is stainless steel. It’s highly durable, offers excellent insulation to keep ice frozen longer, and is easy to clean. Plus, it adds a sleek, professional aesthetic to any bar setup.
What size ice bucket should I choose?
The size of your ice bucket should be determined by the bar you’re working in. For personal or small gathering use, a 2-3 quart ice bucket should suffice.
However, for larger parties, professional bartending, or events, you may need a larger bucket with a capacity of 4 quarts or more. Always consider the size of your guest list and how much ice you’ll typically use in your cocktails.
If you’re working in a busy commercial bar, you’ll need a larger bucket. But if you’re bartending at your home bar, then a smaller one will work best.
How long will ice last in an ice bucket?
A well-insulated ice bucket like the ones mentioned above can typically keep ice cubes solid for about 3 to 6 hours at room temperature. However, in a very warm environment or under direct sunlight, the ice might melt faster.
To extend the life of your ice, always use a lid and consider using larger pieces or blocks of ice, which melt slower than smaller cubes.
How do I choose an ice bucket for bartending?
When choosing an ice bucket for bartending, consider these key aspects: insulation for keeping ice cold, capacity to suit your needs, durability for frequent use, style to match your bar’s aesthetic, accessories like tongs or a lid, and easy handling and cleaning.
Your choice should balance functionality, style, and practicality to suit your bartending environment and style.
To wrap up, an ice bucket is equally as important as any other tool in your arsenal, and if you’re serious about bartending then you’ll understand why it’s crucial to have a great set of tools.
Ice buckets are far more than simple containers. They’re the silent sentinels that keep your ice perfectly chilled, your cocktails refreshingly cool, and your customers thoroughly satisfied.
Whilst they may not be the star of the show, without them, there would be no show to star in! Nobody likes a warm cocktail.
Each of the ice buckets we’ve featured offers something unique, whether it’s top-notch insulation, a robust build, a suave design, or a size just right for your needs.
I’ve sifted through the many options out there to bring you the best of the best, and I’m confident that amongst these eight, you’ll find your new faithful bartending ice bucket.
So, don’t overlook the power of a quality ice bucket. It could be the secret ingredient you’ve been looking for to elevate your craft to the next level.
Catch you in the next one!