The Untold Truth Of Mountain Dew Violet

It seems that all of the soft drink origin stories are a bit more shady that one might imagine. Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine (via Snopes). 7UP was once meant to lift the spirits with the inclusion of lithium, a mood-enhancing drug used to treat depression and bipolar disorder, in every bottle. 

Mountain Dew can join this club as well. Its name is a reference to illegal moonshine, with "mountain dew" being a slang term for the illicit booze used in the American South and Appalachia (via Smithsonian). A popular folk song dating back to 1928, popularized by the Stanley Brothers, lauds "good old mountain dew," and it's not a reference to the soft drink.

Mountain Dew was initially developed as a mixer for bourbon and was for years marketed as a down-home country soft drink. The mascot was a barefoot rifle carrying man called Willy the Hippy and the slogan was "It'll tickle yore innards" (via MyRecipes). And yes, that's how they really spelled it. Because the drink has such a high caffeine content (55 milligrams per 12-ounce can, compared to 34 milligrams per 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola), it's become popular with video gamers and college students (via University of Utah).

Mountain Dew Violet comes to the United States

In April of last year, PepsiCo, Mountain Dew's parent company, launched Mountain Dew Violet in Japan (via Reddit). This is common practice for the company, which has made a range of Pepsi flavors available solely in the foreign market (via Best Products). Rarely do these products make it back to the United States, but it appears that we have lucked out with Mountain Dew Violet. 

The variant, which is officially called "Mountain Dew Violet with Grape Flavor" found its way to American stores in limited amounts in August of last year. It contains both elderberry and vegetable juices (via 12 Tomatoes). Although it was priced at $5.99 per 12-ounce can, there was still a limit of twelve per customer since it was a collector's item with limited supply. It's currently being offered at a reduced price on the FYE website (via FYE), so although it received rave reviews by some consumers, it wasn't popular enough to sell out, perhaps because of the price point (via Totally the Bomb).