As most of the United States is embattled with the bitter cold of a winter’s January, our dearest friends at Mtn Dew have released a little bit of summertime to an eagerly awaiting mass audience. Mtn Dew Spark, first seen as an exclusive release to Speedway gas stations in 2020 has finally been spread out to a “national” release in early 2022. While the last couple of new flavors have been seasonally based, Spark’s flavor profile is a bit out of place for this time of year. Described as “DEW with a Blast of Raspberry Lemonade” this is the sort of thing I’d expect around June or July, but as this pandemic extends into its 52nd year, I guess there’s no need to concern ourselves with such silly decorum. Eat that dessert, slide into that DM, release the summer Dew in the middle of a January deep freeze. Live free.
Anyway, typically over here at America’s Favorite Soda Blog, whenever a new Dew is released there’s a mad dash from the writer’s room to track it down in hopes of busting out an article like this before most of the country has had a chance to take their first sip. It’s the closest thing we’d ever have to a deadline, but for this particular go ‘round, we just couldn’t make it on time. With bad weather and day job craziness keeping yours truly from traveling across state lines for the quicker release and with the covid plague encompassing editor Ben’s home like a black cloud of pure malaise, we decided to take a different crack at it. Most all new Dew flavors come with a Zero Sugar alternative released at the same time, but we’ve never actually really given one a proper review. With that, enter recently minted TehBen writer Jessica Nicole. While most notably a film critic of the finest of fast-food themed slasher flicks, Ms. Jessica comes to us today armed with a more refined palate and a full sleeve of Mtn Dew Spark Zero. I’ll check back in for my verdict of the full sugar version, but for now, take it away Jess!
Spark Zero by Jessica Nicole
Hey there, folks! I’m glad to be expanding the Dew-Review-iverse with something new, and dare I say… refreshing?
I felt it was important to get into this for a few reasons. There’s health restrictions, lifestyle choices, and even just flat out personal taste bud preferences for why someone might go for a zero sugar or diet option. Sometimes, those options can be a huge let down and I’m happy to spend my time (and money) letting y’all know if you should do the same. Not only will I let you know if it’s good, but I’m going to compare it to the original version.
Firstly, I noticed the original Spark was lacking in the lemon department. I prefer a stronger lemon taste, but I’m a huge raspberry fan so I didn’t mind. The flavor was lighter than I’d imagined also. If you go back and forth between regular and diet options like I do, it’s easy to notice that certain “heaviness” that a regular soda tends to have.
The sugar free Spark, no shit, tastes exactly the same as the original. The same raspberry, the same light lemon, the same carbonation, but without any of that heaviness I mentioned earlier. Sometimes the sugar free options tend to sacrifice the sweetness, flavor, even the aroma, but Mt. Dew outdid themselves with this version. The packing is even just as cool, if not cooler, than the original packaging. A heavy black background highlights the pink on this packing as opposed to the inverted theme on the original.
That being said, this is my new favorite Dew. The guys know how strongly I feel about the KFC exclusive lightning but in my opinion, it has finally been surpassed.
Since I am new to the Dew Review I will give y’all a quick scale on my preference. Major Melon is my least favorite (huge miss on flavor and sweetness ratio), I enjoy the Red White and Dew (each of these flavors is nothing special on its own, but still a solid choice), and Sweet Lightning has been my favorite up until today, now that it’s being replaced by Spark.
If you only buy one as opposed to a pack, I do think you’ll regret it! So make sure to grab enough, because you’re going to want more.
Spark by MJBurroughs
For the regular full sugar version, I was anticipating this since the Speedway exclusive launch, utterly pissed that I couldn’t find my way to this gas station to sample it’s lemonade promises. The packaging artwork is a bit busy for my tastes but the pink liquid works well with what they were trying to do. Anyway, this flavor has been years in the making so let’s get right to it.
The smell is a lot better than most Dews. I know that’s something I talk about more than most soda people but the refreshment from a fruity inspired soda is a big deal to me. I’m in the Food Lion parking lot in the middle of January and I’m instantly thinking about summer when I open this mother fucker up. The taste keeps to the same style, as I feel much more refreshed when sampling this compared to the last few we’ve tried. It feels more carbonated to me, like an extra bubbly that aid the refreshment all the more. One issue I have is the little tiniest bit of an aftertaste, that suggestion of a sickly sweet that’s hard to hide when dealing with this sort of thing. Still… maybe a secret ingredient could help push this along.
Vodka, my friends, is the answer. Adding a shot of vodka to the glass with plenty of ice actually fixes all the issues I would have had with unleaded Spark. The edge is gone, replaced by a little bite of the neutral alcohol that’s more welcome than what was there before. It should be noted that I’m using a very “clean” vodka, (Smuggler’s Notch from Vermont to be specific). It’s a phony-rich, condescending man’s notion to add weirdly expensive vodka to a limited time Mtn Dew, but it’s the most on brand thing I could do for this review. It’s a combination of college broke drunk and mid-thirties over compensation that makes me feel SEEN. There’s not much else to say, I’ve got my summer cocktail, and I’m pretty sure this concoction will kill whatever the next Covid variant ends up being.
God Bless, and Git R Done!