How to make crystallised sugar swizzle sticks

Written by mary ann archibald Google
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How to make crystallised sugar swizzle sticks
Science experiment meets sweet tooth. (Getty creative)

Science experiment meets sweet tooth when you make crystallised sugar on a swizzle stick. Rock candy is a pretty confection made by evaporation. You can make them in any flavour or colour you choose, creating a special festive feel when you dip one into your drink. They take about a week to form so you will have plenty of time to watch this delicious science treat grow before your eyes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sugar (960 ml (4 cups))
  • Water (480 ml (2 cups))
  • Saucepan
  • Skewer or craft stick
  • Extra sugar (for rolling the skewer through prior to setting into the sugar and water solution)
  • Plastic lid
  • Glass jar
  • Colouring
  • Flavouring
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pot holders
  • Candy thermometer (optional)

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  1. 1

    Boil water in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Dissolve sugar into the boiling water. Stir continuously until it becomes clear over a rolling boil.

    How to make crystallised sugar swizzle sticks
    Sugars dissolve in boiling water. (boiling water 2 image by Christopher Hall from
  2. 2

    Remove sugar water from heat and carefully pour into the clean, warm jar. Leave a small gap at the top of the jar.

  3. 3

    Dampen the wood skewer or craft stick with water and roll the area where you want the crystals to form in the sugar you have set aside. Allow this to dry.

    How to make crystallised sugar swizzle sticks
    Rolling the stick in sugar provides a "seed" where the crystals will grow. (sugar image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  4. 4

    Punch one end of the skewer or craft stick through the middle of the plastic lid. Perforate the lid so that air will be able to circulate to aid in the evaporation process. Place the lid with the stick into the sugar and water mixture and allow this to sit for about a week.

  5. 5

    Remove candy stick from jar when the crystals form to the size you like.

Tips and warnings

  • Cover the jar with a paper towel to make sure dust does not get in yet air can still flow freely around your candy.
  • Wrap crystallised sugar swizzle sticks in cellophane for a sweet gift.
  • If using a glass candy thermometer, warm it prior to placing it into the boiling sugar water to avoid breakage.
  • Use a warm jar as pouring boiling liquids into a cold glass jar can cause the glass to break.
  • Children should be supervised by an adult when making rock candy.
  • Do not use the thermometer to stir the boiling mixture as it is fragile.

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