In Elite Daily's series Chef's Kiss, we taste the latest food and drink trends to help you figure out which ones you definitely don’t want to sleep on. In this piece, we tried the new Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot soda.
Odd flavor combinations are nothing new, and although you might not think of mixing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with the sweet citrus nectar of Mountain Dew, the soda flew off the virtual shelves. ICYMI, the limited-edition drink launched exclusively online on Aug. 31, and it sold out the same day. If you weren’t lucky enough to snag the sip, I did the dirty, er, spicy, work for you. This Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot review reveals exactly what the unique soda tastes like.
When Mountain Dew announced its Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot collaboration with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on Aug. 25, the brand promised a “daring” offering. It clearly piqued fans’ interest as it sold out almost immediately. (As of Sept. 17, it’s unclear if the Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot soda will be restocked, but the brand didn’t fully count it out.) I was able to get my hands on the boldly designed can that lets you know you’re in for something very different right off the bat (read: caution tape and an anthropomorphized fireball). Mountain Dew describes the Flamin’ Hot soda as the perfect mash-up of sweet and spicy flavors. It's not clear what spices are used to bring the heat, but according to Mountain Dew, “The R&D team worked hard to bring a similar Flamin' Hot spice experience, staying true to what fans love, into [Mountain Dew] for this limited offering.”
When you crack open the can, you’ll notice the classic citrusy Mountain Dew scent. To get the full effect of the soda’s red-orange hue, I poured the concoction into a glass. With the first sip, you taste the recognizable Mountain Dew blend of citrus flavors with a bit sweetness. If the carbonation hits toward the back of your tongue, you may experience a slight burn in your nose from the spice like I did. Still, the spicy flavor doesn’t smack you in the face right away, with a hint of it coming through mid-sip.
After a few sips, the heat synonymous with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos develops. It combines surprisingly well with the Mountain Dew flavor and reminds me of adding Tajín (chili-lime seasoning) to mango or drinking a spicy margarita. The spice isn’t overwhelming, but the aftertaste definitely brings a low-level burn on your tongue.
After a few more sips, you’ll become more acclimated to the spice and taste the sweet Mountain Dew intermingling with a slight tingle. Depending on your spice tolerance (mine is very high), you may find the soda anywhere from mild to moderately spicy.
Overall, it was an odd combo to start, but I really enjoyed it by the end — even though the spice did stick around for a while. Here’s hoping for a Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot soda restock because the sweet and spicy soda is definitely worth a try.