Midweek Cocktail: a Sweetie Pie that may explode your stomach

When Emma Andrew is serving drinks this Wednesday evening at Edinburgh’s newest gin bar, Head & Tails, she’ll likely go through the menu with you and then bring you back to speakeasy drinks. At the moment, Emma is keen on the classic cocktail and by some accounts Martini-precursor, the Martinez. She likes the mystery behind the drink as no one is really sure where it comes from. But on the Heads & Tails cocktail menu, she’s all about the fizzy original, Sweetie Pie, served with a packet of Fizz Wizz sweets.

gin fizz

Fizz Wizz, known as Pop Rocks in the States and Peta Zetas in Spain, first set sweet tooths ‘a poppin’ in the mid-1950s. The creation of a chemist at the American General Foods conglomerate, Fizz Wizz traps carbon dioxide in a hardened syrup which, when mixed with saliva, is released from the syrup like a bubble bursting making for the millions-of-explosions sensation consumers enjoy. 

Pop Rocks led to a health scare in the 1970s when urban legend had it that if you mixed the sweet with carbonated beverages that your stomach would explode. The myth had so penetrated American society that the Food and Drug Administration set up a hotline and General Foods launched a PR campaign to reassure parents of the confection’s innocuousness. 

Today, YouTube is littered with videos of people taking the Pop Rocks and Pop Challenge which is basically filling their mouth with a packet of the candy and mixing with a carbonated beverage, known familiarly as “pop” in certain parts of North America. The results are comic, but no one dies from an exploded stomach.

So rest assured. When you order the Sweetie Pie at Heads & Tails you’ll not only walk away alive, stomach-intact, but you’ll also have tasted a delicious original cocktail. Or even more likely, two or three of them.


  • Edinburgh Gin
  • Citrus
  • Cream Soda

Serve with a packet of Fizz Wizz and take a small amount of the sweet before each sip