Mountain Dew’s Moonshine Past

By | June 21, 2019

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Mountain Dew...not just for country folks. Source: (

That highly-caffeinated, artificially-yellow, sugary-sweet beverage that you chug when you’re thirsty or need an energy boost was never intended to be a soft drink. In fact, it has ties to hard alcohol. Named after moonshine and developed as a mixer, the soft drink has had an interesting past from its creation in 1932 to becoming one of Pepsi’s top-selling products. Here is the history of Mountain Dew.

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Mountain Dew was slang for moonshine. Source: (

A Nickname for Moonshine

We see references to the nickname “mountain dew” used to indicate alcohol as far back as the 1880s. An Irish folk ditty from 1882 includes lyrics that say, “Of the rare poteen from Ireland green, distilled from wheat and rye.” It goes on to say, “So take off your coat and grease your throat, with a bucket of mountain dew.” During Prohibition, Appalachian moonshiners used the term “mountain dew” so that law enforcement wouldn’t know they were referring to illegal alcohol.