Cocktails Wiki
Cocktails Wiki
Drinking Straw Assortment

A drinking straw is a short tube intended for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth of the drinker. A thin tube of plastic or other material, straight or with an angle-adjustable (bending) segment, it is employed by being held with one end in the mouth and another end in the drink. Muscular action reduces air pressure in the mouth and above the liquid in the straw, whereupon atmospheric pressure forces the beverage up the straw.


  • A basic drinking straw is straight for the full length.
  • A bendable straw or "bendy straw" (known in the industry as an "articulated straw") has a concertina-type hinge near the top for convenience. This variation was invented by Joseph Friedman in 1937.[1][2]
  • Candy straws, such as licorice straws (or lico-straws), are made from some type of chewy candy.
  • A recent addition to the straw family is the cereal straw, such as the ones made by Kellogg's, for use with milk.
  • Special "color-changer" straws change color as cold liquid passes through them.
  • A "crazy straw" is made from hard, transparent or translucent plastic and has a number of twists and turns at the top. When liquid is sucked through the straw, it quickly flows through the winding path, creating a mildly amusing spectacle, popular with children.[3]
  • Extendo-straws can extend through telescoping action to reach the bottom of the carton.
  • Flavor straws are a form of drinking straw with a flavoring included, designed to make drinking milk more pleasant for children. They first marketed in the United States in 1956 as Flav-R-Straws.[4]
  • A miniature straw is often attached to a drink boxes and pouches.
  • Polypropylene is becoming favored over polystyrene for manufacturing plastic drinking straws as polystyrene is brittle and tends to crack easily. Polystyrene is also denser than water, causing straws to sink when placed into beverages. Polypropylene straws, by contrast, are much more durable and do not sink.
  • "Sanitary" straws are individually wrapped to avoid contamination. Straws were originally marketed as a means for people to reduce the risk of contracting an illness from improperly washed containers, glasses, or cups.
  • A spoon straw features a cut-away shape at one end that functions as a miniature spoon. It is intended for slush drinks and milkshakes. Their original purpose was to avoid ice clogging up the submerged end of the straw. [5]
  • A wide straw is used for sipping thick products, such as milkshakes and drinks with solid components like tapioca pearls or chocolate shavings.


  1. "The Amazing History and the Strange Invention of the Bendy Straw", Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, November 22, 2011.
  2. Friedman and the Flexible Straw
  3. [1]
  4. Milk plant monthly, Volume 45, p. 68 (1956), quote: "New Flavored Straws For Use in Milk Drinks [...] A new type of straw with built-in flavor for use with milk drinks has been introduced by Flav-R Straws, Inc."
  5. "Drinking Straw Explained"
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