As discussed in our last entry, I have taken it upon myself to re-create the legendary “DEW.S.A” Mountain Dew recipe as my own personal version of the Crusades. This was deemed necessary after Pepsico completely failed to reintroduce the dreamlike purple drank back to the general public for 2018. At first, the intention of this re-creation was merely to be a fun little jaunt into mixing soda-pops at the fountains like we used to do as kids. I figured that nothing could go too horrifically wrong with this method, and as a worst case scenario, we’d just end up with some OK Soda. Unfortunately, in the process of attempting this, I’ve discovered something much, much more sinister. I hate to break it to you this way, but by reading the secrets contained in this article, you too will carry the burden of The Great Dew Conspiracy…
Taking a few steps back from the process, the “right” thing to do would have been to acquire some of the old DEW.S.A. from eBay or something and then fine tune my concoctions until I get it just right. While my experiment SHOULD be scientific, I instead chose to do a little soul searching on the subject. In a famine, the starving don’t get to compare their sustenance to what they had in happier times, so neither will I. Using only my distant memories of the forgotten era of Dew.S.A. as a comparison, my measure of fulfillment with be that of the can of Sterno to the rock bottom inebriate. As with any crazed proceeding, the first crucial step of a proper reconstruction was to acquire the necessary materials.
As was joyfully transcribed on the side of every Dew.S.A. bottle, the drink was a “perfect blend of the Code Red, Voltage, and White Out Mountain Dews”. In my mind, I knew full well that all three of these Dew flavors were widely and easily available and there would be no issue getting this easy part out of the way. As I merrily skipped to my local grocer’s soda aisle however, I encountered my first road block.
It turns out White Out was not available any longer. I checked a few different convenience stores, and then sucked it up and looked inside a Wal-Mart…and I found nothing. Finally, while sitting in disbelief in the parking lot of said Wal-Mart, I did some googling. Only after coming up empty-handed at the 5th store was I pushed to check the internet sitting in my pocket confirming that White Out had sadly been discontinued.
When did this happen you ask? Who the fuck knows! There’s no definitive date that I can find through research, and the FBI has yet to return my Freedom of Information Act request. I shouldn’t be surprised though, here is a relevant excerpt from page 107 from Mtn. Dew: Rules, By-Laws And Regulations For Dummies:
“Randomly pulling drinks from the shelves in an attempt to create mystery mixes and/or cash grabs on back-lotted product is strictly forbidden. Only PepsiCo employees and PepsiCo chemical scientists are legally allowed to wildly experiment with certified flavors of corn syrup and brominated vegetable oil all willy-nilly.”
After paying some cyrpto-bro more than reasonable market value for a 12 pack of the old snowboard-decorated citrus Dew, I received the critical missing link in the mail. No gigantic soda company, block-chain asshole, or government agency was going to keep me from cracking this code. It was finally time to get down and mix.
Mixture #1: the 33%er
Judging from the tone of the marketing at the time, it was fair to assume that the recipe could very well be an even third of each of the three sodas. I lined up my acquisitions and opened them carefully. Thankfully, the White Out still had plenty of fizz, and wasn’t even out of date for another few months, which added even more to the mystery of discontinuation and I began to ponder the possibility of artificial scarcity. Grabbing my trusty whiskey jigger I poured a perfect 2 ounce measurement of each flavor into a clear plastic glass. Thinking it best to stay completely patriotic, I made sure to add them to the glass in the correct order (red, white, and finally blue). The liquids seemed to glow as I mixed them together. Once everything was ready to test, my hands shook feverishly as I carefully grabbed the cup for a first taste.
Damn, this was a good start.
The color looked almost spot-on, and as the mixture danced on my tongue I was briefly transported back to that memorable summer of 2017. This was so very, very close, and I almost wanted to call it a victory right then and there. It was a little sweeter than I remember, but just like Marge Simpson’s homemade Pepsi, the price was right.
I could handle this, maybe extra chilled with a big hunk of ice we could make this work. As I noticed that my drink was half empty, I looked back at my priority mail package and suddenly my heart fell right out of my chest.
“Wait, this box of White Out is a finite supply from a finite supply!” I told myself. “With only 11 of these left, I’ll be right back where I started. Fuck, I’m going to need to find a substitute, or get really good at mixing flat/expired sodas together!”
A New Challenger Appears: Mountain Dew Ice
Whenever I left a store disappointed while trying to gather ingredients, I always noticed the same placement on the shelf from left to right: Code Red, Voltage, and the new for 2018 Mountain Dew “Ice.” I had tried Ice before, and the clear lemon-lime alternative just tasted like a 7-up for people who prefer the taste of chemicals.
Ice has the weird tang of a diet drink, but claims to be a regularly sugared soda…which is quite possibly the only combination that no one has ever asked for. After thinking it over, there was a strange coincidence that Ice was occupying the shelf space where White Out previously stood back when no one was paying attention. No, I’m probably just overthinking this, it’s whatever, people probably wanted a tamer Dew alternative and this was the best they could come up with. Surely nothing else was afoot here. As I already had some of this stuff laying around in my pantry, this was indeed worth a fair shake.
Mixture #2 The Ice Blend
For this go’round we’d again keep it simple: 2 ounces of each, with the Ice taking the place of the discontinued White Out. As I poured the mixture together I held little hope that this would serve any purpose other than to put a nail in the coffin of my hopes and dreams. As the mixture was complete I looked down to notice something peculiar.
What the fuck? How could this look even closer to the real thing? Surely….no, this wouldn’t taste like it’s supposed to, would it? I raised my glass and took a firm sip.
It was perfect.
Sweet, drinkable, it even fucking smelled exactly as I remembered. THE CODE HAS BEEN CRACKED. I ran like Ebenezer Scrooge into a foggy London street on Christmas morning asking a grimy corner boot-black what day it was. There was no proper explanation for is, but I had successfully replaced my favorite drink after a long and horrid 365 day drought. But wait, how could this possibly be? I just perfectly recreated Dew.S.A. with an ingredient that didn’t even exist when it was on the shelves. Unless…..oh no.
The Great Dew Conspiracy
Friends, I don’t know how long I have left to explain what’s going on here. I’ll keep it simple. Mountain Dew.S.A. was never actually made with White Out. There’s just no way. The labels, the marketing, it was all a carefully crafted lie. While I have no hard evidence other than this drink sitting before me, I can only deduce one of two theories. Either Ice was a part of the recipe all along, and was always intended to usurp the place of the ill-fated White Out. Or worse, the White Out recipe carries some horrible secret. But what’s really going on here? Why create, introduce and subsequently pull a drink that was never going to last? There’s no way Ice could taste this bad and people still drink it of their own accord. Oh god, I’ve drank too much of this, they can probably read my thoughts now. Who’s in on this? HOW HIGH UP DOES THIS GO?!?!?! THAT’S IT MAN, IT’S ALL OVER. RUN TO THE STORES, BUY EVERY DEW FLAVOR YOU CAN FIND…FILL UP YOUR BATHTUBS…CLEAR YOUR 401KS MAN, IT’S GAME OVER. WE HAVE TO STOP THEM, WE HAVE T-
Editors Note: Matt was found three days later in a bathtub of Mountain Dew Holiday Sangria covered only in a thin layer of tin foil. A judge has subsequently ordered him to stay away from all carbonated drinks for 90 days. In the mean time, you should follow him on Twitter.