The origin of swizzle sticks is surprisingly interesting. This simple drink stirrer found in cheesy tiki bars and upscale establishments is more than just decorative and fun for fidgety fingers. While the exact birth of these cocktail stirrers is not written in stone there are a few things we do know for sure.
The original cocktail swizzle sticks were created in the 1700s in the Caribbean. Using the uniquely shaped branch of the Quararibea turbinata tree (more easily pronounced as the swizzle stick tree), field workers would stir their sugar cane into water drinks to stay hydrated. A non-alcoholic drink called the Switchel started showing up on farms and eventually in literature.
A mix of water, apple cider vinegar, honey, sugar cane, molasses, lemon, ginger root, and mint garnish was combined together to make a drink easy to "swish and guzzle." Laura Ingalls Wilder even wrote about bringing some "ginger water down to Pa" in her Little House books. This beverage is also called a haymaker's punch, referring to the hard-working men working in the hayfields in the hot sun.
Fancier glass swizzle or stir sticks even showed up amongst the bar tools of Buckingham Palace where the ladies of the court would use them to make their champagne less bubbly. Now that's weird, but I'm no royal. What do I know?
Swizzle sticks are synonymous with happy hour. These simple beverage stirrers are not always simple at all. In fact, they've become a collectible among barware enthusiasts. Stainless steel flamingos floating on top of a fancy cocktail drink scream fun at the tiki bar and are often kept as a souvenir of a great night out.
There are tons of vintage swizzle sticks from defunct airlines, hotels, resorts, restaurants, and even Disneyland available on eBay. Custom swizzle sticks for marketing and branding are still being made out of long lasting acrylic or eco-friendly wood.
Along with shakers, muddlers, glassware, and bar spoons for bartending, a swizzle stick stirrer mixes a drink from the bottom of the glass along with getting a good frost on the glass. With the stick between both palms, spin the stick by moving your hands back and forth like you're trying to start a fire. Once your drink starts frothing, fill the glass with more ice and swizzle again. Over the course of this process, the glass should begin to frost over. If you're craving some swizzle in your life, here are 10 hilarious swizzle sticks that can brighten the mood at any cocktail party.
10 Swizzle Sticks To Bring Extra Laughs To The Party
Topped with tiny UFOs and glowing green and blue, this would be a great hostess gift idea to bring to a party celebrating all the latest declassified UFO information. Stir your drinks while watching the latest government footage and wait for the alien invasion.
Raise your hand if you could use a little help. While that cocktail you're enjoying may look like it's giving you a high five when you use these hilarious swizzle sticks, remember to always drink responsibly.
These teeny-tiny cocktails would make any tiny creature happy. While these are totally reusable, I guarantee your guests will walk off with these funny swizzle sticks.
With the country opening up again, no doubt a Brady Bunch-themed party is in your future! These Hawaiian Tiki sticks made me think of Greg Brady on a surfboard while Mrs. Brady and Alice drank one too many Pina Coladas.
Sexy shapely mermaids can help stir your cocktail. I hope those mermaids used the bathroom before they ended up in my drink. And their toplessness provides endless juvenile jokes to get the party conversations going.
As a proud cat lady myself, I can tell you that cat ladies love to drink. With our cats, of course. So putting a cat paw drink stirrer into our alcoholic beverages completes the theme perfectly.
We've all been hiding behind masks for over a year. Ladies, have you fallen behind in your facial waxing duties like me? Well, cover up your beauty faux pas. Stir your drink and look more groomed than you actually are with these hysterical mustache swizzle sticks.
Donuts and alcohol. Does it get any better than that? These would also be fun to stir coffee with on a Sunday morning after a Krispy Kreme run.
Because the only thing we seem to be missing after this past year is an actual zombie apocalypse, be ready for that killer theme party with these zombie swizzle sticks. Also great for a Halloween party or scary movie night.
10. Sexy Woman
These are great for bachelor parties or Girl Power get-togethers. Tell your troubles to this nicely shaped lady on a swizzle stick and find out where she got her shoes while you're at it.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Enjoy Country Music?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.