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What You Really Need To Know Before Taking A Sip Of Mountain Dew

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Mountain Dew is everywhere these days, and this highly-caffeinated, electric-colored

drink is definitely marketed toward a crowd looking to live life on the edge.

You might think you know everything there is to know about this neon drink, but Mountain

Dew has a rather rocky history.

Long before it became a soda, the term "mountain dew" was a nickname for moonshine, so it's

not entirely surprising that today's Mountain Dew was born in the foothills of the Smoky

Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Sources vary, but it was some time in the 1930s or 40s that brothers Barney and Ally

Hartman created a mixer to make whiskey taste better.

Knoxville historian and author Jack Neely says it wasn't caffeinated, and it was originally

just for their own use.

Why go to such lengths?

The brothers' favorite bourbon mixer, a lemon-lime drink called Natural Set-Up, wasn't available

when they moved to Tennessee, so they decided to make their own.

The brothers named the beverage Mountain Dew, joking that it tasted just like moonshine

when mixed with liquor.

They decided to put a Tennessee moonshiner on the logo and market the drink as a, quote,

"zero-proof hillbilly moonshine that will tickle yore innards."

The pair expanded distribution outside Knoxville but sales stalled, and the company began to

struggle after Barney Hartman tragically died of a heart attack.

Combining brown liquor with vibrant green soda isn't the first thing that comes to mind