In Defense of Doodh Soda

Despite Pepi’s viral ad, mixing milk and coke is nothing new. In fact, the combination has a long history in South Asia.

Doodh soda
(Snigdha Sur)

Sadaf Ahsan


December 13, 2022


8 min

“Pepsi and milk…pilk!”

In a new holiday ad campaign for Pepsi, that’s what Lindsay Lohan dubs the carbonated cocktail as she seductively pours milk into her soda as if it were an entirely new innovation. After taking a sip, the actor purrs, “That’s one dirty soda.”

After the ad landed on social media, the feedback was swift and savage. While some were surprised by the combination, others quickly pointed out that the creamy concoction is already common in the South Asian community. One user tweeted, “First they came for our masala chai, then ghee, then haldi, and now it’s doodh soda.”

Indeed, for many South Asians, particularly those in Pakistan and North India, doodh soda is a long-time, tasty kitchen table staple — and not a new invention. With colonial origins, the carbonated beverage is one of many milk-based refreshments long adored in the region — even if Pepsi is now rebranding it under a new name.

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