Chandler Friedman and Steve Almasy report for CNN that four teenage boys mixed the drink at a party. Two were hospitalized, treated and released. The other two died. For much safer consumption, try mixing Mountain Dew with properly distilled whiskey. The original formulation has changed, however so the drink may not be the same as that quaffed by the Hartman brothers. On his blog, "Broken Secrets," Chad Upton writes that Mountain Dew with whiskey, perhaps punched up with a little lime juice, tastes a little like a whiskey sour.
Today, Mountain Dew's name might seem like it is supposed to evoke pristine alpine conditions where the soda fuels feats of extreme athletic prowess, but its original meaning was intended to reference something very different. The phrase "mountain dew" was actually slang for mountain-brewed moonshine, write Tabitha Waggoner and Jessica Davis for the Tennessean. The caffeinated, florescent-yellow soda's name does make sense, when you consider its origin story: Brothers Barney and Ally Hartman began bottling a lemon-lime soda as a whiskey chaser in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1932, writes Doug Mason for Knoxnews. To play up the intended use of the drink, they dubbed their drink, "Mountain Dew."Mountain Dew is now a subsidiary of PepsiCo, and last year the company decided to stir up nostalgia for the soda's origins with Mountain Dew's "DEWshine," a clear version of the citrus-flavored drink sweetened with cane sugar rather than corn syrup. The product incorporates an old-fashioned-looking label, and also brings back Mountain Dew's original mascot, Willy the Hillbilly, along with the memorable tagline, "It'll tickle yore innards.""Dewshine" recently cropped up in the headlines for a tragic reason—the name also stands for a combination of the Hartman's original whiskey chaser mixed with a methanol-based racing fuel, which may have caused the deaths of two Tennessee teens.