Pepsi’s New Ad Spices up the Holidays With PILK: Pepsi Mixed With Milk

Holidays are all about getting festive- decorating houses, baking comfort foods, and spending time with loved ones while enjoying seasonal drinks. Some of the holiday favorites include spiced ciders, eggnog, and mulled wine. While some prefer to keep things traditional, one major beverage brand is working its way into the competition.

Key takeaways:
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    Pepsi recently launched a new holiday ad with Lindsay Lohan, featuring PILK: A combination of Pepsi and milk as a new beverage.
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    The Pepsi and milk combination (while not new) has recently gone viral on social media, including after seeing popstar Olivia Rodrigo post a photo with a ‘dirty soda’ from Swig.
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    Pepsi is coming up with several other recipes in hopes of going viral (like PILK). Some include the ‘Naughty & Nice’ and ‘Cherry on Top’- a mixture of Pepsi’s, dairy beverages, and flavors.

A new spin on milk and cookies

PepsiCo recently launched an ad on December 1 for Pepsi's new concoction-PILK: Pepsi mixed with milk. The ad opens with a beautifully decorated home. While an unseen person tiptoes down the hall and stairs, Santa is seen with his classic milk and cookies-only to instead pour a can of Pepsi into the glass of milk. Actress Lindsay Lohan then turns on the lights in the living room and sits down next to the PILK (Pepsi and milk), where she picks up the glass and takes a sip. "That is one dirty soda, Santa," she says.

Social media buzz

Like most bizarre food and drink combinations, it's no surprise that PILK went viral. People have tried everything from an orange, sparkling Americano to Fanta Orange Soda with a splash of almond milk, capturing the curiosity of viewers around the world. As weird as the drink may be, reviews have been surprisingly positive overall. Some think it's gross; others are pleasantly surprised, claiming it tastes like a soda float.

One Tiktok reviewer said, "Pepsi and milk is not a horrible combo." Another was a couple that did a taste test together. While she said, "I don't think it's bad at all. I kind of like it." He said, "Ugh, that's terrible," while making a grimacing face. One reviewer even compared it to a "carbonated milkshake."

The 'Dirty Soda': from soda fountain to a drive-thru

Nevertheless, mixing bubbly beverages and dairy products is a trend that has been around for some time. While there are disputes about who was the first to invent the egg cream drink, it was concocted around the late 1890s, serving customers in just about every candy shop in New York. Egg creams became extremely popular with three simple ingredients: cream, seltzer, and chocolate syrup. Unfortunately, as vending machines and other pre-packaged beverages started to pop up in the '60s and '70s, soda fountains went out of business (and with it, the egg cream drink). This was just the start of the dirty soda.

While PILK might be a new name, the flavor combo is anything but. In the 1970's sitcom Laverne & Shirley, Laverne (Actress Penny Marshall) is seen indulging in a bucket of the beverage, one of her favorite combinations. TikTok discovered the drink shortly after popstar Olivia Rodrigo posted a photo of her holding a "Swig" cup late last year. Swig (who calls itself "home of the dirty soda") has been around since 2010, originating in Utah. The founder of Swig, Nicole Tanner, created and named one of their drinks a Dirty Dr. Pepper- Dr. Pepper with coconut syrup. As soon as others began imitating Swig's idea, they knew there was only one thing to do. Tanner says, "We got a Utah and a federal trademark, so that "Dirty Soda" belonged to Swig."

Whether you love or hate it, PILK is here for the holidays. Pepsi has created several innovative recipes for those who want to take a step further than just the two ingredients:

Naughty & Nice: Pepsi, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla creamer.

Cherry on Top: Pepsi (wild cherry flavor), ½ cup of 2% milk, 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons of caramel cream.

Snow Fl(oat): Pepsi (zero sugar): ½ cup oat milk, and 4 tablespoons of caramel creamer.

They offer several more recipes using ingredients like their nitro Pepsi and even going as far as using chocolate milk.

Is PILK safe to drink?

We all know that Pepsi doesn't come close to being considered a healthy beverage. One 12-ounce can contains 150 calories and a whopping 41 grams of sugar (not to mention the long list of artificial colors and flavors). Still, it could be worse. Unfortunately, not all of the viral trends on social media are safe. Compared to some trends in the past, like NyQuil chicken and the Tide Pod challenge, the combination of Pepsi and milk is much less harmful to the body. Plus, at least you get a little serving of calcium with your milk.

Whether you have tried PILK yet, are planning on trying it, or are straight-up refusing the odd combination, this is one beverage that will be remembered for years to come. The drink is one of the safer trends to go viral and it definitely will make a good topic to discuss during the holidays at the dinner table. Successful or not, Pepsi has done a good job at catching the attention of millions across social media and PILK is just the start.

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