If Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas, Matt Rogers its Prince, and Jesus its King (fact-check pls?), Lindsay Lohan must be the Chrismess Princess. In 2004, she brought “Jingle Bell Rock” into the 21st century. In 2022, Falling for Christmas became new canonical holiday gospel. And today, on the first day of December, the ho-ho-ho month, Lohan has introduced us all to a new classic Christmas drink, one that will surely take the world by storm and put eggnog out of a job; I am talking, of course, about Pilk. Pilk, as you will learn from Lohan’s 16-second sponsored social-media post, is a heady concoction of Pepsi and milk. In the ad, she wears her Mean Girls talent-show sexy-Santa look, sits by a roaring fire, and pours a can of Pepsi into a glass. “Nice,” she croaks. Then she tops off the glass with milk. “Ooh, naughty.” She stirs it together with a straw until the whole drink turns creamy opaque. “Pepsi and milk,” she says, doing her best “thinking” face. “Pilk!” She puts her lips around the straw and the camera cuts to a still life of Pilk and cookies just as she’s about to sip it. “Mmm, that is one dirty soda,” she says when the camera cuts back with no evidence of her having drank the dang thing. Is LiLo calling the soda “naughty” and “dirty” meant to … make us horny for milk soda? Could this Christmas vixen (reindeer sense, affectionate) be trusted? I channeled my inner Lisa Barlow and made one to find out.
This might be hard to believe, but Lohan actually did not come up with the idea for Pilk by herself. It’s a riff on Utah’s dirty sodas, regionally popular soft drinks that blend soda with half-and-half or creamer and additional flavored syrups. For some reason, coffee is a sin there, but bubbly dairy syrup is a godly bevvy. This genre of drink’s connection to piety isn’t new, nor is it even Utah specific. The original cream soda had real dairy in it and was marketed as a temperance drink on the East Coast in the late 19th century. But TikTok has made Utah’s popular dirty-soda spots, like Swig, go viral, the drinks’ neon-hued visual appeal undeniable. And Falling for Christmas was filmed in Utah, even though it takes place in Aspen, so there’s some sort of trackable brand synergy going on with her affiliation with the trend.
In the plus column for Pilk and cookies: The ingredients are easy to acquire, and the drink is easy to create. I chilled a fancy glass in the freezer while I stepped out to buy full-sugar Pepsi and whole milk, then assembled the Pilk on ice (I couldn’t quite see ice in the commercial, but you can hear the clink of cubes when Lohan stirs). Taking my cue from the video, the ratio appears to be one can of Pep to around a quarter-cup (eyeballed) of milk.
There’s a brief moment when the thing looks delicious, the contrast between the black and white liquids still distinct, before it all settles into a muddy off-white. On first sip, the drink tasted only of Pepsi, so I topped it up with some more milk. Then it just tasted like diluted, flat Pepsi, the aggro lactose totally snuffing out the soda bubbles. Overall, the drink just made me think of how great a Coke float is comparatively. In a Coke float, the cold solids of the ice cream hit the carbonated soda and create a layer of fluffy foam, which is delicious and creates a protective layer that stops the bubbles from flattening. Pilk has no such chemistry-lab magic. Plus, unlike milk, ice cream actually contributes flavor.
And that’s another thing! Lohan should have made Pilk with Vanilla Pepsi or at least added a dash of vanilla. I did the latter, which helped a ton with flavor, though the consistency remained irredeemable. As I sipped along to a Sonos Christmas-jazz station and kept trying to make Pilk happen, it hit me what this is … what Pilk is … what all dirty soda is. It’s just a goyish egg cream.
Merry Christmas, Lindsay Lohan!