There are different ways to drink carbonated beverages other just straight out of the can or bottle, but we can all agree that these soft drinks are supposed to be served ice cold, right? You can mix red wine and Coke or Cheerwine and gin, but the drink is still served cold. Except when it's not, which is what you get with hot Dr Pepper.
Hot Dr Pepper is exactly what it sounds like: Dr Pepper heated and served warm. Given that soft drinks are supposed to be crisp and refreshing, it's surprising to think that anyone would suggest turning it into a hot beverage, but that's exactly what happened in September of 1958.
According to the Dr Pepper Museum, located in Waco, Texas, Wesby R. Parker, who was president of Dr Pepper Company at the time, was visiting a bottling plant during a blizzard. One of the route salesmen made a joke about the company needing a hot drink to sell in the winter, and Parker ran with that idea. He experimented with ways to heat Dr Pepper, eventually coming up with a perfect method that made the warm drink sweet and soothing.
The company marketed hot Dr Pepper with the slogans "It's Devilishly Different" and "Winter Warmer," using snowmen, people in winter gear and a giant punch bowl in an ad campaign as a way to get people to think differently about the soft drink. Because hot Dr Pepper was pitched to an adult audience, including with a little devil character, it was a natural for making cold-weather concoctions mixed with booze, including a rum and hot Dr Pepper combo known as the "Schuss-Boomer."
While the drink was marketed across the country, drinking Dr Pepper hot mostly caught on only in the South. Some people remember concession stands at football games selling hot Dr Pepper, while others recall drinking it to soothe a sore throat.
It was popular during the 60s and 70s, and while you might find a few people who remember it from growing up, it's more or less a forgotten drink today.
How to Make Hot Dr Pepper
To try this retro recipe, all you need to do is gently heat Dr Pepper or Diet Dr Pepper in a small saucepan to 180 degrees, or until steam starts to rise off the liquid, and then pour over a thin slice of lemon in a coffee mug. Drink as is or add a splash of rum or bourbon for an extra kick to your winter drink.
Make sure not to overheat the Dr Pepper or let it boil, otherwise, the drink will taste scorched. In addition, keep the lemon slice thin so as not to overpower the hot Dr Pepper.