Remember when you had Rock Candy as a kid? Today we’re taking a trip down memory lane – making Rock Candy on straws that you can use in cocktails!

Throwback Time:

Rock Candy Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • A surface for your crystal to grow on.


  1. Get the water boiling in a saucepan and add sugar a bit at a time, stirring to dissolve. Keep going until the sugar doesn’t dissolve anymore.
  2. Allow the water and sugar mixture to cool.
  3. Choose what you want your rock candy to “grow” on.  If you’re making straws, go ahead and place a cocktail pick inside the straws (to prevent the sugar crystals from blocking the straw). Otherwise, you can use a piece of string or wood, or just a cocktail pick on its own.
  4. Take what you chose in step 3 and dip it into the super-saturated sugar-water. Take it out and sprinkle it with table sugar. (This gives the dissolved sugar something to “hang on” to.)
  5. Put your straw (pick-side-down), string, stick or cocktail pick back into the sugar mixture, and arrange it so it’s as vertical as possible, and not touching any other pieces.
  6. Wait! (This is where that “patience” part kicks in!) Try not to agitate your rock candy during this process – that will help the crystals grow.  This process took me about a week to get the size of rock candy you see below.
  7. If you’re not making straws, you’re done when they reach a size you’re happy with (or when they stop growing). If you’re making straws, you’ll need to do one more step to pull the picks out of the straws before serving.
  8. Put the rock candy in a cocktail and serve!

Got ideas?

I think there are a lot of great ways you can use rock candy in cocktails, and I have seen some bars in my area actually doing this. Are you using rock candy in your bar?  Let me know in the comments!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.