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What Is a Dirty Soda?

Soda is poured into a cup.
Vintage Tone/Shutterstock.com

Looking for a non-alcoholic drink for spring and summer? An unexpected take on soda might be this year’s biggest warm-weather sip.

Dirty soda is blowing up on social media, but it didn’t originate there; it’s actually been popular in Utah for years, and is just now making its way across the country. But what the heck is it, anyway?

There are a lot of varieties of Dirty Soda, but the original is a blend of cola, heavy cream, and coconut syrup. Think of it as a fully melted cola float with a hint of coconut instead of vanilla. In other words, it’s kinda like a coconut-flavored egg cream.

As far as its origin story, it seems necessity was the mother of invention when it comes to the Dirty Soda, and we have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to thank for it.

In 2012, the Church declared its dietary restrictions for members did not include all caffeinated beverages, but just the hot ones, like coffee.

While Dirty Sodas had been around since 2010, they obviously exploded in Utah after this announcement. Now, soda shops (like Swig, where singer Olivia Rodrigo has occasionally been seen) have been popping up all over to cater to the ever-widening appeal.

@swigdrinks

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♬ Honest - Justin Bieber

While both regular and diet colas are the typical bases for the drink, you can choose any brand or variety you like. Other popular favorites include Dr. Pepper, lemon-lime, and root beer.

As for where to get yourself a Dirty Soda, if you’re in Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, or Idaho, you might have a Swig or Sodalicious nearby. If not, you can always make your own.

If a Dirty Shirley is way too sweet for you, give a Dirty Soda a try—you might just discover a new fave to sip poolside.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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