The Weird Way Dr Pepper Tried To Turn Itself Into A Winter Drink

No matter if you call it soda, pop, coke, or something in between, it's probably a safe bet to say that you like your soft drinks cold. Whether you prefer the classic flavor of an original Coke or favor the bright, citrusy taste of newer drinks like Sprite or Fanta, these sweet, fizzy beverages are almost always served cold, either in a bottle or can cold from the fridge, or with ice in a glass. 

Most of us probably think of soda as a cold beverage, so it may come as some surprise to learn that one soft drink company tried to do things a little differently. The 1960s was a time of experimentation, and Dr Pepper tried to capitalize on that spirit by offering their customers a new way to enjoy their bold, licorice-y beverage. Rather than selling the drink as a cold, refreshing thirst-quencher, the brand began marketing the drink as a hot beverage that could be enjoyed on a cool winter's day (via Serious Eats).

Dr Pepper wanted to boost winter sales

According to Mental Floss, the idea first came about when the company was trying to think up ways to increase its sales, which often flagged in the colder months. Hoping to use the winter holidays to boost their revenue, Dr Pepper's marketing execs began promoting a new way to prepare the drink: heating it up. The new recipe called for pouring the soda into a saucepan, warming it to about 180 degrees, and serving it in a mug with a thin slice of lemon at the bottom. The heat greatly altered the drink's texture, changing it from a cool, carbonated refreshment to a "thick, sweet tea," according to Serious Eats. Hot Dr Pepper was not only thicker but flatter and less sweet than the original soft drink.

A Serious Eats contributor tried the drink and compared it to a non-alcoholic hot toddy. So if you are an adventurous drinker who enjoys warm, spicy beverages, you might be tempted to give this old-fashioned recipe a try. Hot Dr Pepper only really caught on in the southern United States. It seems safe to say that today, most people still prefer their Dr Pepper to be served nice and chilled, even in the winter.