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There are few things worse than a drink that’s not as cold as it’s meant to be. If you’re planning to keep any liquid on ice, you’ll want to invest in a good vessel to maximize the lifespan of ice cubes and make sure your drink stays cold. Whether you need ice to whip up cocktails or want to cool a bottle of wine, here are the best ice buckets for all of your chilling endeavors.
Best Overall: Crafthouse by Fortessa Stainless Steel Ice Bucket
What do pro bartenders use to keep their ice as cold as possible when entertaining at home? SeongHa Lee, a bartender at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, shares his recommendation: “Crafthouse by Fortessa’s oval ice bucket, which was designed in collaboration with world champion bartender Charles Joly, is the best for indoor use."
Measuring 12 by 5 inches, the bucket's double-walled stainless steel construction and interior drain grate make for excellent performance. Unlike your typical round (and usually small) ice bucket, this model can easily fit a six-pack of cans or two bottles side by side, meaning you won't have to plunge your hand into an icy abyss to grab a drink. Plus, Lee adds, the lid features an underside clip, which hooks to the wall of the bucket when not in use.
Read Next: The Best Ice Cube Trays
Best Budget: Winco 4-Quart Wine Bucket
Restaurants use this kind of wine bucket for a reason: it's sleek, reliable, effective, and won’t break the bank (this is key as it’s something that’ll be used frequently and is subject to wear and tear). At home, you probably won’t be getting that much mileage out of a wine bucket, but it’s always nice to know when something's vetted by the pros. And at a surprisingly affordable price point, it can’t hurt to have a few of these 4-quart stainless steel buckets on hand.
Best Splurge: Corkcicle Eola Bucket Cooler Bag
For a stylish alternative, look no further than this chic cooler backpack. Corkcicle's award-winning vegan leather bag features adjustable straps, a rear accessory pocket, and enough space for 12 cans (or eight cans and two bottles of wine). This cooler bag comes in a variety of fun colors, and reviewers love it for its portability, comfortable straps, and ability to keep drinks cold all day long.
Read Next: The Best Soft Coolers
Most Durable: OXO Insulated Plastic Ice Bucket Set
OXO's ice bucket is one of the most functional and durable options in the market, as you won’t have to worry about banging up any metal. Even more, it has a reservoir for meltwater, a removable garnish tray, nylon tongs and quality insulation. The company also backs its products with a satisfaction guarantee, meaning if you’re not pleased with your purchase, you can send it in for repair, a replacement or a full refund. This bucket holds approximately 1 gallon of ice.
Best Design: S'well Calacatta Gold Ice Bucket
S’well's Calacatta Gold collection is perhaps its most elegant, with barware products that feature gold veining against a lacquered white background. The line’s 68-ounce ice bucket is constructed from triple-layer vacuum insulation and food-grade stainless steel with a copper lining, so your drinks will stay extra cold without creating any condensation. This bucket comes with tongs and is the perfect size and shape for chilling sparkling wines. It can hold 2 pounds of ice.
Read Next: The Best Ice Makers
Best Large: YETI Tank 45 Ice Bucket
"This is by far the best ice bucket in terms of outdoor performance,” says Lee. “It will keep 52 cans or 43 pounds of ice for you; it might seem pricey, but it’s worth it for your outdoor event, and it will keep the ice longer than other regular ice buckets.” The YETI Tank 45, which is also available in a 85-gallon size, features ultra-durable rotomolded construction and insulation made of pressure-injected polyurethane foam in the walls. This ice bucket weighs 13 pounds when empty.
Best Flip-Top: Oggi Ice Bucket
Flip-top ice buckets are the way to go if you prefer having fewer separate parts to worry about. Oggi makes some great flip-tops for ice and drink storage; this particular 4-quart model is slightly larger than the standard ice bucket and offers a convenient slot to hold the included ice scoop. It’s also double walled, meaning it’ll keep two full-sized wine bottles chilled for longer than any non-insulated bucket.
Read Next: The Best Coolers
Best Classic: Bellemain Insulated Stainless Steel Ice Bucket
This classic ice bucket from Bellemain will blend in with any decor, thanks to its brushed stainless steel design. Better yet, it boasts a meltwater reservoir, easy-grab handles, double-wall insulation and a three-year warranty. This 3-liter bucket will keep your ice cold for up to six hours, and it even comes with bartender’s tongs.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
As a longtime wine and spirits writer (and a lover of entertaining), Céline Bossart has tried many different solutions for ice transport and storage. These, along with bartender SeongHa Lee’s recommendations, are her personal top picks.