Hot Dr Pepper: Try a Cool Weather Texas Tradition

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Tony Maples Photography


Hot Dr Pepper may not sound appetizing to the uninitiated, but for many Texans, this drink brings back warm memories from childhood. Some drank it on chilly fall evenings while attending high school football games, and others recall the drink’s palliative properties from when they had the flu. This autumn, make it a point to try a hot Dr Pepper at least once.

The Ingredients

Dublin Dr Pepper in glass bottles made with Imperial sugar

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hot Dr Pepper does not require any special ingredients or equipment to prepare. It comes together in just minutes, and you can increase the recipe easily if you want to serve a crowd. The key to serving this drink is the thin sliver of lemon in the bottom of the cup. The acidity of the lemon cuts through the syrupy sweetness of the Dr Pepper just enough to keep the beverage from becoming cloying. For the best taste, find glass bottles of Dr Pepper made with Imperial sugar, but regular Dr Pepper will also work. The drink will not taste the same, however, if you use Diet Dr Pepper or a generic brand.

How to Make It

Hot Dr Pepper in a Glass by the Fire

Photo: Facebook/Dr Pepper

Ideally, you want to heat the Dr Pepper in a saucepan on the stove to just below boiling, or 180 degrees. While still hot, pour the drink into individual serving mugs that have a paper-thin slice of lemon in the bottom. Drink immediately. Though you can make it ahead of time, hot Dr Pepper tastes best fresh.

When to Enjoy

Hot Dr Pepper Retro Ad with a Snowman

Photo: Facebook/Mass Street Soda

The best times to drink hot Dr Pepper include any day the weather permits. While you might not want to try this when the temperatures reach 85 degrees, you will definitely appreciate it when temperatures drop into the 50s. Some even swear by this drink as a sore throat soother. Of course, go to your doctor if you feel sick, but after that, try a hot Dr Pepper when you feel under the weather. The lemon and syrup make a decent substitute for honey-lemon tea.