This time around I’ve elected to poke into the history of something that is near and dear to my heart on a couple of fronts. The soda pop marketed as Mountain Dew is one of my favorite ”treat” beverages (I prefer the diet version), and the term “mountain dew” has been slang for moonshine for hundreds of years. The Tennessee county where I live has a well-deserved reputation for having been the moonshine capital of the world during the heyday of that illegally produced corn whiskey. There is even a moonshine museum in Cosby! Sorry, they do not give out samples.
Mountain Dew was born here in the hills of Tennessee in the 1940s. Barney and Ally Hartman, who ran a bottling plant in Knoxville, coined the name of their product from the colloquial term for moonshine whiskey. The Hartman's Mountain Dew, however, was a lemon-lime flavored mixer for whiskey, not originally intended to be drunk alone. But that changed quickly enough.
The first sketches of the original Mountain Dew bottle labels were devised in 1948 by John Brichetto and depicted a character known as Willy the Hillbilly shooting at a revenuer fleeing an outhouse with a pig sitting in the corner. In 1951 Ally ordered the first ACL Mountain Dew bottle. The bottle was green glass with white paint (no red) with Willy shooting at a revenuer. The bottle read "by BARNEY and ALLY." This was supposed to give the feeling that the person using the product was drinking illegal moonshine. Interestingly; when the bottles arrived they were put in a warehouse and not used until 1955!
Pepsi Cola bought out the Mountain Dew franchise in 1964 and in 1973 the logo was changed to reflect the audience Pepsi was aiming for, a younger outdoorsy generation. This tradition is continued today with many commercials for the drink featuring BMX and skating superstars. 1988 brought a new Dew to the scene with a diet Mountain Dew, offering a low sugar compliment to the original beverage.
Over the years the product carried several slogans. In 1965 Pepsi launched its first Mountain Dew campaign, "Ya-Hoo Mountain Dew! It'll tickle your innards." That was followed by several rather unremarkable slogans, but in 1993 the slogan "Do the Dew" was created by the Dew Dudes in the award winning commercial "Been there, Done That".
When 1995 rolled around it brought the first X-games, sponsored by none other then Mountain Dew.
Since 2001 several other flavors have been developed under the Dew banner. These include Code Red, Livewire; an orange flavored spin-off, and Pitch Black; a grape flavored variation with a sour bite, but the original Mountain Dew remains the best seller.
Mountain Dew has become a world wide success; from the hills and backwoods of Tennessee to the far corners of the Earth. Many have tried to imitate its unique flavor, including Mellow Yellow, Mountain Mist and Surge, but none have even come close. Mountain Dew is unique and is here to stay.
In our house Mountain Dew is the required beverage on Sunday evenings while we curl up together and watch the weekly NASCAR cup race. Racing and Dew just go together! And what caps off the evening is a serving of Marie’s Do the Dew Apple Dumplings, hot and bubbling from the oven.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at Mountain Dew. What is your favorite refreshment? Here's a little Mountain Dew song for you to listen to while you check out the recipe below.
DISCLAIMER: This post has not been sponsored by or paid for and is not in any way connected to the Pepsi Company or Mountain Dew. They haven’t given me so much as a coupon for writing this (but… maybe they will!). The logo and label are the exclusive property of the Pepsi Bottling Company.
Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings
2 large Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
1 1/2 sticks of butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
8 oz. Mountain Dew (the soda, not moonshine)
2 tsp cinnamon
Cut each apple into 8 pieces, remove the core and roll each slice in a triangle of crescent roll. Place in a 9” x 13” baking dish. Melt the butter. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix. Add Mountain Dew to the mixture and pour over the dumplings.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until brown and bubbly. These are best served fresh from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (we use low fat, no sugar added Blue Bunny vanilla)
Thanks for reading, and “May the Dew be with you!”