The Unexpected Reason Mountain Dew Was Invented

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Thrillist reports that Georgia natives Ally and Barney Hartman moved to Knoxville in the 1930s but were disappointed that they couldn’t buy their favorite whiskey mixer, Natural Set Up – a lemon-lime soda so obscure that its only Google results are auction pages for antiques bottles. Undeterred, the brothers decided to create their own version of the drink and gave it the tongue-in-cheek name Mountain Dew – an Appalachian slang term for moonshine, according to the tennessian.

According to Mount dewin the decades that followed, the Hartmans sold the new soda locally in Virginia and Tennessee until they caught the attention of PepsiCo, which bought the rights to the product in 1964 before tweaking the recipe some 10 years later to include orange flavoring and began marketing it nationwide.

While now best known for its 54 milligrams of caffeine and 46 grams of sugar per 12 ounce canand its ability to pair with Doritos and Taco Bell, Pepsi recently delved into the drink’s alcoholic origins, introducing Hard Mtn Dew in August 2021 and recently announced the alcoholic twist is coming to his favorite fast food flavor, Baja Blast.

Unfortunately, for fans who would like to honor the creators of the drink by getting buzzed over the neon soda, Hard Mtn Dew is only available in Iowa, Florida, and the state of Tennessee, although Pepsi claims that it will increase its sales in the future. Until then, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and try mixing some of your own Mtn Dew cocktails.

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