Monday, January 6, 2014

Have You Tried a Hot Dr. Pepper?

Do you remember when Dr. Pepper tried to convince coffee drinkers to switch to heated Dr. Pepper instead? I recall such a campaign by Dr. Pepper in the mid-1970s, when there was a sudden, large spike in coffee prices. I can picture my parents sitting at the breakfast table with mugs of hot Dr. Pepper, giving it a try.

It didn't go over well with them, although I've since learned that there are people who enjoy their Dr. Pepper as a hot beverage. It turns out that hot Dr. Pepper predates my memory of a 1970s coffee shortage.

The Dr. Pepper company, going back decades earlier, seasonally pitched their cola as a hot winter beverage. For example, here's a television commercial from the 1960s pitching Dr. Pepper as the perfect holiday drink:

This commercial recommends heating Dr. Pepper until it steams, then pouring over a thin slice of lemon in the bottom of a coffee mug. Drink it piping hot.

"The holiday favorite of the proud croud," the TV commercial declares. "Different?" the narrator asks. "Yes, because Dr. Pepper is not a cola, not a root beer, but a blend of deep fruit flavors. That's why hot Dr. Pepper is the happy holiday idea that pleases everyone!"

I've read that in a few small pockets of the Southern United States, hot Dr. Pepper is still a popular holiday drink.

You have to hunt for it, but on DrPepper.com you can still, today, find reference to hot Dr. Pepper in the FAQs:

Q: What is hot Dr Pepper? A: Hot Dr Pepper was developed many years ago as a refreshing winter drink. Heat Dr Pepper in a saucepan to 180 degrees, place a thin slice of lemon in the bottom of a coffee mug or insulated cup and pour the heated Dr Pepper over the lemon.

Next trip to the grocery store, I'm picking up some Dr. Pepper to heat up and slowly sip. I'm not expecting to be impressed, but who knows - maybe it will be a pleasant surprise.

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