It doesn't have to be summertime for it to be warm in Louisiana. And there is never really a bad time for a cool refreshing drink. Granted, Louisiana has a reputation for quenching its thirst with fermented beverages but that kind of "refreshment" isn't always the best option. Sometimes people have to drive or operate heavy machinery or do newscasts on television so the alcoholic option isn't always the best.


Now don't get me wrong, we love our soda pops in Louisiana too. We just have a reputation for adding things to those cans and bottles of "pop". Which is kind of where this story is heading. Except for the add-ons or in this case, add-ins are ingredients you might not think about adding to your favorite soft drink.

emmymade via YouTube
emmymade via YouTube

What is a Dirty Soda?

If you are familiar with the term "mocktail" this might be even easier for you to grasp. The dirty soda consists of soft drinks with those extra ingredients. A Shirley Temple, a mix of ginger ale, grenadine, and cherries would be considered not only a mocktail but a dirty soda.

Where Did the Dirty Soda Craze Start?

If you guessed Utah, you'd be right. Many residents of Utah are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and church doctrine restricts some of the food and beverages that church members can eat or drink. The doctrine specifically mentions hot drinks such as coffee and tea are on the no-go list.

However, in 2012 the Church clarified its position on caffeine. That clarification gave birth to what we are calling dirty soda today. Over time people opened up to the idea of adding mix-ins to standard soda flavors and concoctions such as "The Founder" were born. The Founder is a drink created by Swig, a beverage retailer in Utah it features Diet Coke, sugar-free coconut, fresh lime, and coconut cream.

Tayo Robinson via
Tayo Robinson via

At first blush, you might think all I'd need to add would be some rum or vodka or moonshine and I'd have a night I would never remember. But in the world of dirty soda, they don't add booze.

Where Can You Try a Dirty Soda?

The easiest place to try one on for size would be at your own house. You can find recipes all over the Internet. Major soft drink manufacturers Coke and Pepsi are buying into the dirty soda craze as well.

Near Lafayette, Louisiana there is a place that has been touting the dirty soda before we even knew what it was called. That place is The Soda Pop Shop and they are on Westgate Road in Scott. They offer a variety of soda pops, energy drinks, and other non-alcoholic beverages and they have unique flavors and additional ingredients that allow you to customize your drink.

Not surprisingly the brain trust behind Lafayette's, excuse me, Scott, Louisiana's, Soda Pop Shop brought the idea of mixing stuff in sodas from, you guessed it, Utah. If you'd like to see what the Soda Pop Shop has to offer and can mix for you, here's their menu.

I mean who would have thought of mixing Mountain Dew with pineapple, raspberry puree, and a hint of Vanilla Cream? Wake up your tongues people, we have new things to taste and new ways to taste them.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells