Instructables

Instantly create custom beverages with the Flavor Mixing Straw! With around $10 in parts from the hardware store, you can turn three drinks into nine (correction: SEVEN. see comments) by turning a few valves.

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools

PARTS

1. 1/4" OD vinyl tubing (about 3' in length)

2. 3X 1/4" OD plastic quick-connect MIP straight valve

3. 1X 1/4" OD plastic quick-connect tee

3. 1X 1/4" X 1/8" plastic quick-connect C X MPT adaptor

TOOLS

1. Hand Drill

2. Scissors

Step 2: 3-Way Splitter

Picture of 3-Way Splitter
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I couldn't find a 3-way splitter at the hardware store for 1/4" tubing, so I made my own. First, pick a drill bit that's slightly smaller in diameter than the threads of the adaptor and drill a hole in the top of the tee. Screw the adaptor into the hole using even pressure making sure to keep the adaptor level, and you should get a tight seal without having to tap threads in the hole.

Step 3: Measure & Cut Tubing

Picture of Measure & Cut Tubing
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The bottle measures 9", so I cut the tubing that goes into the bottle at 11" to account for some wiggle room. The tubes connecting the valves to the tee are 2" long, and the straw end is 8" long.

Step 4: Assemble and Mix

Picture of Assemble and Mix
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To assemble, just push the tubing in until it stops. Now it's time to crack open some bottles and start mixing- with 3 drinks you get 9 possible combinations of flavors!

 
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Remington9002 months ago

the amount of murica is to d*mn high

this is SO awesome
JON-A-TRON (author) 2 months ago

The valves are basically ball valves, so there is some control of how much flow you have, though they're intended for off/on usage. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could make little paper dials to fit under the valve handles with percentages on them. Another cool thing you could add to this project is some kind of bottle holding caddy.

#0programmer2 months ago

How are there 9 flavors?

If each valve can only be fully on or fully off, there are two possibilities for each (on, off), so 2^3 = 8 combinations, but since one of them is all straws off, there are really 7 possible flavors.

If each valve can be partially on/off, there are many more, only limited by the smallest amount each valve can be adjusted.

To extrapolate, these would be the combinations:

A+B+C

A+B

A+C

B+C

A

B

C

The last 3 aren't really combinations though, just the original drinks by themselves.

JON-A-TRON (author)  NitroRustlerDriver2 months ago

Ha! Thanks for the correction guys. I didn't expect a project this simple to be scrutinized so carefully. Next time I'll do the math before I make such outrageous claims.

but which is it? Can the valves be adjusted in small increments to find the best combination of flavors? If not, maybe it'd be a nice enhancement for the future.

askjerry2 months ago

Ok... that's original... love it!

FleX_DK2 months ago

This is so silly - and I love it! Definitely a must build.

audreyobscura2 months ago

MMMMMM flavor mixing......

JON-A-TRON (author)  audreyobscura2 months ago

You know this!

xGrape2 months ago

Awesome idea! Multiple straws/split straws is nothing new - but the valves are - and that makes all the difference. Lovely update to an existing idea. Kudos!

JON-A-TRON (author)  xGrape2 months ago

Thanks xGrape! It's a fun 10 minute project to keep around for parties.