A flask of whiskey on a mountain

Whiskey And Mountain Dew: Does It Work (+ Recipes)

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One of the many reasons to drink whiskey is its versatility.

You can blend whiskey with everything from milk and tea through to pickle juice and apple cider. It also pairs exceptionally well with soda.

The soda that is most frequently used with whiskey is Coca Cola.

However, whiskey can also work incredibly well with lemonade, ginger ale, and even Mountain Dew.

In this post, I’ll explain why Mountain Dew is such a great Whiskey mixer and share a few Mountain Dew and Whiskey recipes. 

Mountain Dew Was Made For Whiskey

Mountain Dew is a refreshing soft drink that is particularly popular with kids.

However, the inventors of Mountain Dew actually intended it to be an alcoholic mixer that could be paired with a variety of different spirits.

In the 1930’s, Tennessee bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman were frustrated by how difficult it was to obtain sodas that mixed well with whiskey.

This was due to the fact that soft drinks were sold regionally, so towns like Knoxville didn’t have access to their favorite soft drink mixers.

Being inventive types, they decided to create a new soft drink that would taste great with whiskey.

They created a citrus-flavored soda and named it “Mountain Dew” — which is a 19th-century slang term for Highland Scotch whiskey.

The term Mountain Dew was also often used as a nickname to describe moonshine.

The brothers even put a picture of a Tennessee moonshiner on the logo and sold the drink as a “zero-proof hillbilly moonshine that will tickle yer innards.”

The company was sold to the Tip Corporation of Marion, Virginia in 1961, who altered the flavor of Mountain Dew to make it more palatable as a stand-a-lone drink.

Interestingly, Mountain Dew did sell a throwback version in the past, called DEWshine. This version used real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, this throwback product was discontinued.

What Does Mountain Dew And Whiskey Taste Like?

The modern day version of Mountain Dew doesn’t taste much like the original recipe, due to the addition of additional high-fructose corn syrup, a stronger citrus flavor, citric acid, and caffeine.

However, Mountain Dew and whiskey still works surprisingly well — as long as you use a whiskey with the right characteristics for your palate.

You may find that Irish whiskeys and bourbon whiskeys work well for your palate, while Scotch whiskey does not.

Some experimentation may be required.

Mountain Dew is quite tangy, fizzy, citrusy, and sweet.

The high-fructose corn syrup gives it a distinct corn flavor which is more apparent when mixed with whiskey.

Whiskey can add complementary flavors like vanilla, molasses, and citrus. The smoke and oak flavors common in whiskey can cut through the sugar nicely.

The two can be combined into a delicious drink, but again — experimentation is required. If your first drink doesn’t work well, try another whiskey or a different drink ratio.

Recipes Using Mountain Dew And Whiskey

Mountain Jack

A woman holding a bottle of Jack Daniels and smoking

This is the most commonly used recipe for combining Mountain Dew with whiskey. It’s easy to make and tastes great.

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
  • 120 ml Mountain Dew
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

  1. Place the ice cubes in a whiskey glass
  2. Pour in the whiskey and Mountain Dew
  3. Stir and serve
  4. (Optional) add a wedge of lime for a garnish

Irish Redhead

In addition to experimenting with different whiskeys, you can also  change the type of Mountain Dew in your drink. This version uses Mountain Dew Code Red and Irish whiskey.

Ingredients:

  • 45 ml Irish Whiskey
  • 240 ml Mountain Dew Code Red
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

  1. Fill a collins glass (tall glass tumbler) with ice
  2. Add whiskey and Mountain Dew Code Red
  3. Stir and serve

Honey Dew

This is a more indulgent option which adds some honey and cream to the mix!

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
  • 180 ml Mountain Dew
  • Ice cubes
  • Whipped Cream

Instructions:

  1. Add ice cubes to a rocks glass
  2. Pour in whiskey and Mountain Dew then gently stir
  3. Top with whipped cream

Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew Cocktail

Another option for those with a sweet tooth, this drink blends the sweetness of Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew with lemon and mint.

It is surprisingly refreshing and a great drink to enjoy on a warm summer afternoon.

We know it’s not technically a whiskey but it’s close enough and this is a delicious drink!

Ingredients:

  • ½ or 1 lemon (depending on flavor preferences)
  • Small handful mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or simple syrup)
  • ½ cup Mountain Dew
  • ¼ cup Southern Comfort
  • Ice

Instructions:

  1. Cut your lemon in thin wedges and add them to a large mason jar
  2. Throw in some mint and sugar then muddle ingredients together
  3. (optional) add a few ice cubes
  4. Add the Mountain Dew and Southern Comfort
  5. Stir then enjoy