We Tried TikTok's Newest Obsession: Dirty Soda

Don't knock it till you try it — it's worth the hype.

TikTok is at it again with yet another delicious thing you've probably never heard of. This time, it's dirty soda.

Well, technically Olivia Rodrigo got the ball rolling on dirty sodas. She posted a photo of herself holding a Swig (a company that serves dirty sodas in its drive-by drink shops) cup on Instagram in April. Since then, #dirtysoda has blown up on TikTok with over 3.4 million videos using the hashtag.

The "drivers license" singer is obviously not the first person to discover dirty sodas, but man are we glad that she put them on the nation's radar.

Ok, so, what the heck is a "dirty soda" anyway? And, what does it taste like?

What is Dirty Soda?

Dirty soda is a Utah favorite that's been popular in the state for more than a decade. It's a soda of your choice (typically a cola, but it can also be made with root beer, citrus-flavored soda, or even lemonade), cream, and flavored syrup.

The original dirty soda is made with Diet Coke, heavy cream, coconut-flavored syrup, and lime. It's similar to an egg cream, but with flavored soda instead of seltzer water.

Where Did Dirty Soda Come From?

Utah has a large population of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). LDS members adhere to the church doctrine which calls for abstaining from wine, "strong drinks," and "hot drinks." Essentially, LDS members cannot drink alcohol, coffee, or tea for health reasons.

However, in 2012 the LDS church clarified that the health practice doesn't mention caffeine specifically, only hot drinks. Therefore, Latter-day Saints can still enjoy beverages with caffeine in them — like soda.

That same year dirty soda, which had been around since 2010, exploded. Nowadays, you can find dirty soda at multiple soda shops around Utah, as well as in states with large LDS populations, like Arizona and Idaho. And, the craze is sweeping the nation as dirty soda shops are popping up in other states like Oklahoma and Texas.

As far as where you should get a dirty soda? Well, that's about as highly debated as which fast food joint has the best french fries.

The two biggest dirty soda shops are Swig and Sodalicious. Swig came first, opening in 2010, and is credited with creating dirty soda, but Sodalicious wasn't far behind, opening in 2013. Both soda shops offer a large menu with dirty soda options as well as a treat menu that features cookies and other sweets. So, if you have a sweet tooth, add these soda shops to your must-try list!

Dirty Soda Taste Test

Obviously, I had to try this trend, I was a little skeptical at first. Heavy cream and pop just don't sound like they would mix — spoiler alert: I was very wrong.

I couldn't make it to a Swig soda shop, so I had to try my own dirty soda at home. But I did make two dirty sodas from the Swig menu. For the first one, I wanted to try the classic, so I made "The Founder," which is Diet Coke, heavy cream, sugar-free coconut syrup, and lime. For the second one, I went with Olivia Rodrigo's go-to order: the "Malibu," which is Dr. Pepper, coconut syrup, and vanilla syrup.

The Founder is very fun to make. It's like a science experiment as you pour the heavy cream into the pop — as it mixes together it creates a satisfying color change.

It tastes like a melted root beer float with a hint of tropical flavor. The creaminess and flavor combination is reminiscent of a cocktail, just without any alcohol.

The Malibu is equally delicious albeit less creamy without the heavy cream. It simply tasted like a coconut- and vanilla-flavored Dr. Pepper.

Overall, I'd highly recommend trying dirty soda. Even if you can't make it to a soda shop, they're so easy to make at home — and the flavor combinations are endless!


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