TikTok has been the genesis of numerous custom drinks. From Starbucks’ “Pink Drinks” to the various frosted sodas on Chick-fil-A’s “secret menu,” creative gastronomes have utilized the platform to share all sorts of takes on menu favorites.
Today, another fast-food variation has gone viral and sparked discussion thanks in part to TikTok user Stephanie (@stephaniedreww). That creation’s name? “Mermaid water.”
“Can confirm that Sonic mermaid water is THE drink of the summer,” writes Stephanie in the text overlaying the video. “44oz of water with sugar free raspberry and peach syrup with cut up lemons and strawberries.”
“Catch me drinking this everyday,” she adds. The video has over 3.8 million views as of Wednesday afternoon.
@stephaniedreww My new fave summer treat #mermaidwater #sonic #sonicdrivein #drink #stephaniedreww ♬ Barbie World (with Aqua) [From Barbie The Album] – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice & Aqua
It’s unclear where the idea for “Sonic Mermaid Water” came from, as numerous users on TikTok have used the hashtag #mermaidwater for years to showcase all sorts of water creations. Some of these creations use prepackaged Sonic brand drink mixes that one can make at home.
That said, users on TikTok appear to have been ordering the drink for quite some time.
One such instance of someone ordering “Mermaid Water” with a similar recipe from an actual Sonic location was posted on June 11.
TikTok user Maddie (@maddieecrisp) shared the recipe in the caption, “route 44 water. one pump of peach. fresh strawberries. fresh lemon.” The caption also identifies it as the “drink of the summer.” The only difference is the lack of raspberry. This video currently has over 11,000 views.
@maddieecrisp the drink of the summer 🙌🏼 route 44 water. one pump of peach. fresh strawberries. fresh lemon. ON REPEAT!!!!! @SONIC Drive-In #mermaidwater #sonic #summerdrink #summer #cruelsummer #summertime #fyp #foryou #momdaughter ♬ original sound – 🤍🎧
In an email to the Daily Dot, Stephanie reiterated that this is not an original creation on her part.
“I saw the term ‘mermaid water’ first used by another account on TikTok. I do not want to claim ownership for the name or recipe. After I saw the name and recipe I figured that I had to try it as I have a Sonic near my house. I quickly realized how delicious the drink is and decided to make a video to confirm to everyone that it is indeed the drink of the summer,” she explained. “It is very delicious and very refreshing. Plus it’s low in calories!”
To be clear, “Mermaid Water” is not an official menu item at Sonic, and one must individually list out its ingredients to place an order. However, it seems that the creation has Sonic’s approval. In a comment under Stephanie’s video, the brand wrote, “sooo good, literally like summer in a cup.”
Other commenters shared in the chain’s enthusiasm about the drink.
“When I say I RAN TO SONIC,” wrote a user. “I got mine with soda water insteaaaad. My pregant momma heart is happy!”
“This sounds great! I wish there was a sonic by me,” added another.
“This was amazing!!! Thank you so much. I ordered mine through the app so it was easy to order,” offered a third.
Stephanie told the Daily Dot that Sonic has a potential goldmine on their hands if they choose to add the drink to their menu.
“Sonic should definitely add this item to its menu. It appears to be a combination that is not new and has been around for many years,” she detailed. “However, my video has helped the recipe and name mermaid water gain popularity. I know that multiple people (as per my comments) have gone to Sonic and ordered a ‘Mermaid Water’ as they believed this to be a true menu item.”
She also had some suggestions for those looking to try the drink out for themselves.
“If I were to tweak the recipe, it would be to not add strawberries, as they can sometimes get stuck in the straw and they are not sugar free because of the syrup that they sit in. A route 44 water, sugar free peach syrup, sugar free raspberry syrup, and fresh lemons would be a perfect alternative that is also diabetes friendly (the same drink sans the strawberries),” she stated.
In an email to the Daily Dot, a Sonic spokesperson shared the following:
“SONIC is the Ultimate Drink Stop, offering thousands of ways to customize any soft drink, lemonade, limeade, iced tea or SONIC Slush – from flavors like Cranberry and Sugar-Free Mango, real fruit including Strawberries and Lemons, and even NERDS Candy.”
“We often see SONIC fans creating their own unique drink customizations on social media, and we were excited to see this new way of customizing water gaining popularity. This is not a current item on our menu though, and there are no plans for it to be added. SONIC fans can easily make this beverage or create their own custom drink using the SONIC App.”
“We also recently teamed up with some of the biggest names in music to spotlight their favorite SONIC drinks. Learn more about the refreshing drink customizations loved by JP Saxe, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson and Metro Boomin here – all of which can easily be recreated through the SONIC App.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Maddie via TikTok comment.