Swizzle sticks are small sticks placed in cocktails to hold fruit, or merely to stir the drink. Commonly made of plastic, the origin of the name is uncertain but rum drinks made with sugar and citrus juices have been called swizzles since at least the 19th century.
In 1933, Jay Sindler invented a swizzle stick with a spear-point on one end. Sindler, an engineer, was trying to get the olive out of his martini without using his fingers. Sindler was granted a patent on his swizzle stick in 1935 and started a company, Spir-it, to sell them.
Organizations often customize the paddles of swizzle sticks with corporate logos or other designs, making swizzle sticks popular with collectors.
Plastic swizzle sticks composed of two very thin tubes joined together are often used as a disposable means of stirring coffee.