It's the hot new thing on TikTok, although its origins can be traced back to at least 2010. What's a dirty soda? Food Network explains:
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.
Food Network also provides more information about the drink, including its origins in the Mormon community as well as how it harkens back to much older drinks that combine soda and dairy, such as Italian sodas, cream soda, root beer floats, egg floats, and more:
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.
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.
Huffington Post also recently published an article about the TikTok trend, and shared some recipes that have been popularized on that platform:
According to squillions of videos on social media platform TikTok, this trend takes ordinary soda and adds flavored syrup and cream, among other ingredients. With a rich mouthfeel, lots of flavor and some additional sweetness, dirty soda tastes like a kid's version of the best possible cream soda on earth. If you're a fan of root beer floats, egg creams or any other dairy-filled concoction, you're going to love it.
One person who's explored the trend and its creative possibilities is content creator Carrie Berk, who has 3.6 million followers on TikTok: "The great thing about TikTok is that everyone loves a DIY," she said. "I saw a lot of people mixing up Diet Coke with vanilla- or coconut-flavored coffee creamer or half-and-half, and adding a few squirts of fresh lime juice. I decided to try that version, which I posted on Tiktok."
I haven't had "dirty soda" but have always been a big fan of cream soda (and the cream-soda-inspired butter beer at Universal Studios!) and root beer floats, so maybe I'll give this trend a try!