What’s Dirty Soda? What to Know About the Latest Drink Taking Over TikTok

The drink has some fascinating roots.

May 18, 2022

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Photo by: Photo courtesy of Swig

Photo courtesy of Swig

TikTok trends come and go, but the one known as “Dirty Soda” seems to have legs … not to mention some interesting roots.

@swigdrinks Don’t hate it… just try it!😉 #dirtysoda #swig #swigdrinks #johnnydepp #heartstopper #mothersday #bee #utahcheck #sodaluv ♬ Crazy - Patsy Cline

Wait, what? You haven’t heard about Dirty Soda? It’s basically an alcohol-free “mocktail” made with diet cola, coconut syrup, lime juice and either half-and-half or non-dairy creamer, in its most classic form, served all mixed together over ice.

Intrigued? Here are seven things to know about this drink:

@swigdrinks It’s not just a Utah thing… #dirtysoda #swig #swigdrinks #fyp #mothersday #amberheard #multiverseofmadness #badbunny #doctorstrange #utah #mormonsoda ♬ Good Day - Nappy Roots
  • Dirty Soda drinks trace their origins to Utah. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. Mormons) are prohibited from drinking hot caffeinated drinks, like coffee and tea. But the church clarified in 2012 that caffeine in cold beverages is not specifically prohibited. Dirty Soda, with its diet cola base, was therefore a sanctioned drink.
  • Swig, a chain that bills itself as the “Home of the Dirty Soda,” opened its first location in Saint George, Utah, in 2010, around the time to drink’s popularity began to grow in Mountain West states. Dirty Soda has recently begun to gain nationwide attention.
  • Pebbled or crushed ice is preferred to regular ice.
  • Chains popular for their Dirty Sodas, such as Swig and Sodalicious, have been opening locations in new areas, helping to spread the craze. (TikTok has revealed that, for those elsewhere, there’s a Sonic-hack version made with Sprite, cherry syrup and sweet cream called the “Pink Lady.”)
  • There are myriad variations on the Dirty Soda theme. For instance, this TikToker makes a “Rise N’ Shine Drink” with ice, orange juice, white peach syrup, cranberry syrup and a “little bit o’ Sprite” — yeah, serious sweetness. And this dude tried out a simple version with Dr Pepper and French Vanilla coffee creamer — and braved the overflowing foam to declare it “fan fricking tastic.”
  • It’s worth noting, as this Utah-based TikToker does, that the soda + dairy concept is not unique to the “Dirty Soda” trend: “It’s literally been a thing forever,” she says. “Like, Italian sodas, cream soda, root beer floats. It’s always been a thing.” Not to mention egg creams. Or that “Laverne & Shirley” favorite: Milk & Pepsi.
  • For Dirty Soda’s current surge in popularity, you can give some substantial credit to Olivia Rodrigo. The pop star appeared in an Instagram post clutching a Swig drink — apparently containing a Dirty Soda, perhaps something sour? — in December 2021. And if it’s good 4 Olivia, hey, maybe it’ll taste good 2 U, too.

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