Is Pilk, a Pepsi-Milk Mixture, a Healthy Drink?


Pepsi’s holiday commercial this year has been stirring up a little controversy, literally: The spot on Instagram, which features Lindsay Lohan, shows Santa mixing his traditional milk with soda, a concoction dubbed “pilk, for Pepsi-milk.” This naturally got people curious about the drink, which is now trending on TikTok and other social media, where it’s racking up millions of views as influencers worldwide try it. So, is the combo any good, and is it good for you? Everyday Health’s staff registered dietitian-nutritionist examines the trend (and comes up with a truly healthy holiday drink).

What Is Pilk?

Although the commercial and social media buzz made it trendy, combining soda and dairy beverages is nothing new. After all, the first ice cream float is reported to have been invented in Philadelphia in 1876, according to a journal article, and drinks like the Black Cow (ice cream and root beer) have been documented in historic cookbooks as early as 1917, notes

Those drinks could easily have evolved into a simple combination of Coke or Pepsi and milk, sometimes called “dirty soda.” Many trace the first public mention of Pilk (then called “Pepsi milk”) back to the beloved television show Laverne and Shirley, which aired from 1976 to 1983. Rumor has it that actress Penny Marshall, who played Laverne Di Fazio on the show, loved Pepsi milk so much that she worked it into the show so that she could also enjoy it onscreen.

Pilk also isn’t a uniquely American phenomenon. As Bon Appetit points out, many cultures have their own versions of soda and dairy combinations. Korea even has a canned version, per Lotte.


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