Since literally the dawn of man, toothpicks have been used as a tooth-cleaning device. With the advent of tooth-brushing and flossing, however, toothpicks fell out of favor as a tooth cleaner, but were held onto (primarily by men) as simply a small wood stick to chew on. It became a rugged habit for men, making appearances in old Westerns as well as new action movies, signifying to the viewer that the man you’re watching is a badass. Perhaps they are favored by the tough guy because he is so full of fury, he needs to wedge a stick in-between his chompers to keep them from grinding together.
While chewing on toothpicks is enjoyable on its own, you can make it an even better experience by flavoring them. While flavored toothpicks have started to show up in retail environments, they’re going to be far more expensive than just making them at home. Put on your cowboy hat and follow the tips below!
- Whiskey (optional)
- Essential oils
- Sealed container (I used small jars)
You can use any whiskey you’d like, but I wouldn’t use expensive stuff. It’s not a waste necessarily, but certainly not the best use of your fancy bottle of Scotch. As for other flavorings, using essential oils is going to be your best bet. Essential oils are concentrated natural extracts of plants, using a distillation process. They provide better coverage, and don’t make the toothpick soggy. Theoretically any liquid will work, but you may compromise the integrity of the toothpick. I got these 1oz bottles at GNC for $4-6 each, and for this how-to I used Cinnamon Cassia, Peppermint, and Orange. The sealed container isn’t necessarily a must-have either, but I’ll explain below why I prefer it.
Step 1: Pour Liquid and Insert Toothpicks
Step 2: Seal and Let “Marinate” for 24-48 Hours
Interlude: Don’t Use a Shallow Dish
Step 3: Dry the Toothpicks
4. Find a Case and Enjoy
A Review of the Flavored Toothpicks
So, how did they taste? The Jameson was actually the weakest flavor of the bunch. It was definitely noticeable, just subdued. For any non-concentrated liquid, I think you’ll have to let it soak for a while longer. I was closer to 24 hours than 48, so maybe that extra day would have made a difference. As I already noted, the cinnamon flavor actually burned quite a bit, almost the instant it hit my lips. Cinnamon oil is potent and fiery. I even let them dry longer to get more of the oil off, but it was no different, and I ended up discarding them. The peppermint was definitely my favorite, and the orange was good too, albeit a little more subtle. Go crazy with flavors — you can get tea tree, clove, apple, etc. The possibilities are really quite endless!