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Food & Recipes

What Is a Dirty Soda? Everything to Know About the Viral Drink, Its Utah Roots, Recipes, and More

The unique take on soda is making everyone wonder where their nearest dirty soda shop is. 


Whether you’re a soda enthusiast or not, the “Dirty Soda” trend has likely caught your attention in the past few months thanks to its viral status on social media. But what sets this trend apart, and what’s the story behind its Utah roots and sudden rise to fame? Here,  delve into the origins of ”dirty sodas,” their unique composition, and discover a recipe for you to try at home.  

What is a dirty soda? 

The “Dirty Soda” trend originated in Utah, where it gained popularity among the residents who typically avoid coffee and alcohol for religious reasons. At the forefront of the now-viral soda trend was (and is) a popular soda shop called Swig

Swig was founded in 2010 in St. George, Utah. It currently has 59 locations across the United States and employs over 500 people. 

Their menu has around 20 base beverages (such as Cokes, Pepsis, and soda waters) to choose from, as well as over 30 flavored syrups, creams, and fresh fruit purées that you can add to your drink. 

Though Swig is enjoying viral success, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the company. In 2014, Nicole Tanner, the founder of Swig, trademarked the term “dirty soda” and even went as far as to sue Sodalicious, another Utah drink company that offered dirty sodas, saying it was “a near exact knockoff.” Swig also accused Sodalicious of copying their signs, cups, oversized straws, and the design of the menu boards. The case ended with Sodalicious paying Swig an undisclosed settlement in 2017. 

Now, several different places, like Sonic, are adding various types of dirty soda to their product lineup, and Coffee Mate has started selling a dirty soda creamer. It comes in a coconut lime flavor and is available wherever you buy groceries. 

For more on Swig and some options on their menu, watch this video from @shawnthefoodsheep


Swig: Utah’s popular soda only chain known for “dirty sodas”, carbonated beverages with milk mixed in. #swig #utah #soda #foodie

♬ Sunshine – WIRA

What is in a dirty soda? 

Normally, dirty sodas consist of a combination of your soda of choice, coffee creamer, and flavored syrups. 

Some popular syrup flavors include vanilla, peach, coconut, strawberry, lime, and lemon. For a creamier option, most people opt for plain old coffee creamer, milk, or heavy cream. However, one of the benefits of a dirty soda is that you can add as much or as little of each mix-in as you want. 

For more on what is in a “Dirty Soda,” watch this video from lifestyle influencer Emile Kieser. 

Related: Homemade Coffee Creamer Is Healthier, Tastier + So Easy to Make With 3 Ingredients 

How to make a dirty soda at home 

Not only can you can make a dirty soda at home, but  many lifestyle influencers like @cassidywhiting prefer homemade versions over storebought dirty sodas! 

To see how exactly Cassidy makes it at home, watch the video below! 

Dirty soda recipe 

There are millions of at-home “Dirty Soda” recipes out there, and you can find them all by searching the term “dirty soda recipe” in the search engine you prefer. However, this one involving Diet Coke, cherry syrup, and lime is one of our favorites! 


  • One can of Diet Coke 
  • Two pumps of cherry syrup (like this one
  • Four packers of True Lime
  • Ice


  1. Fill up your cup of choice with ice, then pour your can of Diet Coke over it. 
  2. After, add in your two pumps of cherry syrup and four packets of True Lime and mix it all together. 

Serves 1. 

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