“I am AMPED I am AMPED woah what if they made an energy called AMP and…wait I think my heart stopped, or…MOUNTAIN DEW WOO!”
~Mountain Dew Drinker (aged 12)
Mountain Dew has one of the more unique rises to popularity of any beverage that can be poured out of a tap without someone checking your ID first. Originally invented in 1940 in Tennessee with the we’re-honestly-not-kidding-here’s-a-commercial-for-it slogan of “Ya-Hoo! Mountain Dew. It’ll tickle yore innards” and advertising itself to Hillbillies, it’s since gone on to be extremely popular among gamers, extreme sports fanatics, and sixth grade kids who view it as a caffeine-rich forbidden fruit, like speed that you can buy at the gas station on the way to tweeking out throughout your school day.
Mountain Dew was first developed by Barney and Ally Hartman, who made it as a mixer and named it after a Scottish and Irish slang for “moonshine.” It was eventually bought out by PepsiCo in 1964, and the “hillbilly angle” was removed not too long after. While you know it as a “citrus” flavored soft drink, and it lists concentrated orange juice as one of its flavors, it’s basically just sugar and caffeine with a hint of “dorm cafeteria OJ” flavor to it.
And while “the potent combination of a sugar high with a caffeine buzz” is a good enough combination to help Mountain Dew corner 80% of the citrus-flavored pop market, in our age of American ingenuity and overzealous marketing, a company can only rest comfortably on your laurels for so long selling just one kind of middle-school wake up juice, and ever since the 1980s Mountain Dew has been experimenting with a variety of flavors. Some of them are good (looking at you, Code Red). Some of them…well, not so much.
The Worst Mountain Dew Flavors of All Time