Mountain Dew has gone too far this time

I am the drink consumer that beverage companies love to see walk into the corner store. Several times per week I peruse the back row of fridges with a plan to pick up my usual carbonated can of choice, but then without fail, something colorful will catch my eye—a strange new flavor of a drink I’ve had before that’s just intriguing enough. “I have to try it,” I say out loud, to myself, in the gas station. Five familiar words I told myself as I picked up a Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew yesterday. Five words I now regret.

Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew does what it says on the tin plastic bottle. The drink concocters at PepsiCo (who I presume come up with new products by swishing different flavors around in a toilet bowl until it turns a solid green, red, or blue) have injected bog-standard Dew with “a blast of heat and citrus.” You’ll recognize the branding from Mountain Dew’s chip-shaped corporate cousin, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. A former love for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was my main motivation to give this Dew a shot—back in middle school, “flamin’ hots” were a universal currency that could buy you anything from a less-deflated basketball to brief admiration from an older kid.

flamin' hot mountain dew

(Image credit: Future)

I eventually had to stop eating flamin’ hots as I got into high school. At some point my body’s tolerance for the super-salted spice plummeted. A few cheetos were all it’d take to give me a stomach ache that lasted for hours, so I gave up the flamin’ hot life and never looked back. Now returning to Flamin’ Hot with this cursed, blood red Mountain Dew, I was prepared for a kick on the level of Cheetos. To my surprise, Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew mostly tastes like regular Dew. At least at first.

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