The drink with a unique refreshing taste, Dr Pepper, is celebrating its 125th birthday this year. The company is planning on launching many activities during the year to share with their fans in celebration.
It was in the year 1885 that pharmacist Charles Alderton concocted the drink that was then called ‘Waco’. It was named after the Texan town and served in Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store. The carbonated fruit drink gained widespread publicity and favor and eventually began being bottled. It is said that Charles Alderton named his drink Dr Pepper after the father of a girlfriend in his home state of Virginia. In 1904, Dr Pepper made its debut at the World’s Fair Exposition in St Louis where around 20 million people attended and could try the drink. By 1923 the manufacturing of Dr Pepper was moved to Dallas as the product had become so popular. During the 1950’s another slight name change occurred, the period after the Dr (.) was dropped after some confusion with a new type font. The 1960’s brought the release of dietetic Dr Pepper which was changed a few years later to ‘diet’. By 2004 Dr Pepper gave us the cherry vanilla and diet cherry vanilla bringing in new fans to their consumer base.
Dr Pepper claims the title of the oldest major soft drink still being sold in the United States today and boasts a sales growth of around 4% per year for the last 20 years. The company claims that it is currently the fourth best selling soft drink in the United States.
Dr Pepper has 23 different flavorings making it a valuable and unusual ingredient in the kitchen. Ham cooked in the beverage gives succulent, sweet and fruity results. While a marinade of 2 cups of Dr Pepper, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tsp chili sauce and 1/2 cup lime juice makes a delicious and tenderized beef brisket. Both barbecue and Bolognese sauce can be enhanced with the help of Dr Pepper and a sticky reduction can be made with any pan fried meats. For dessert a Dr Pepper Jell-O or a slice of moist Dr Pepper chocolate cake perhaps. Then there’s the ‘Dr Pepper Float’, a glass of creamy vanilla ice cream surrounded by chilled and bubbly Dr Pepper.
Even if it is seemingly impossible to work out exactly what the 23 different flavors are, we can still wish Dr Pepper a very happy birthday on reaching 125 years old.
Photos courtesy of flickr - breanna.corum, powerplantop, the upstairs room and The J Train.