The impetus for the modern drinking straw was… the mint julep. Tired of his natural rye-grass straw (the standard at the time) shedding in his drink, Marvin Chester Stone patented a wax-and-paper version in 1888. In the 1930s, Joseph B. Friedman improved upon Stone’s idea by creating the bendy straw. And so we discover that something good did come from the mint julep.
SOURCE: The Atlantic