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  • We will probably never know the secret recipe of the the oldest major soft drink in the United States, but Dr Pepper has been around since 1885, and in all that time you can bet there are some secrets of the brand that have been divulged.

  • This is the untold truth of Dr Pepper.

  • "Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?"

  • Secret formula

  • Created by Texas pharmacist Charles Alderton in 1885, Dr Pepper gets its unique taste from a secret blend of 23 flavors.

  • Just what those flavors are, however, nobody knows, and the folks that make Dr Pepper aren't saying.

  • According to rumor, only three people alive know the formula, which has been split into two separate ingredient listings, which are kept under lock and key at different banks.

  • So even if you stole one list, you would only get half the recipe.

  • We do know one thing that isn't in Dr Pepper: prune juice.

  • Since the 1930s, rumors have swirled that Dr Pepper contains prune juice, but the manufacturer has gone on the record denying it.

  • The sanctity of the Dr Pepper brand was called into question in 2009, when an old ledger from the pharmacy Alderton worked out was found with a recipe for something called Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters.

  • However, the company again denied that the recipe was for Dr Pepper, stating that if you made it, the resulting beverage wouldn't taste anything like their fabled soft drink.

  • Better luck next time, thirsty treasure hunters!

  • Gimme a Waco

  • When Alderton created the drink in a Waco, Texas drugstore, he didn't give it a name, prompting customers to simply order a "Waco."

  • As the soda gained popularity, store owner Wade Morrison realized it needed a proper name, and dubbed it Dr Pepper.

  • Though rumors claim he named it after a long lost love, according to the Dr Pepper Museum website, the true origin of the name is unknown.

  • What is known is that Dr Pepper lost its punctuation in the 50s, due to the logo's illegibility.

  • The period caused consumers to read the name as "DriPepper," and the company removed it to lessen the confusion.

  • Hot Dr Pepper?

  • Hot soda sounds pretty gross, but nevertheless, Hot Dr Pepper has been around since the 1960s, created in an attempt to keep soda sales strong during the colder months.

  • So what the heck is it?

  • According to the company's website: "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."

  • Go ahead and try it if you want, just ... don't blame us.

  • The fountain of youth

  • Conventional wisdom says that soft drinks are bad for you.

  • And conventional wisdom is absolutely right.

  • However, you are not Elizabeth Sullivan, who passed away in 2017 at the incredible age of 106.

  • On her 104th birthday, she revealed to CNN the secret to her longevity, a ton of Dr Pepper: "This stuff is good and it's got sugar in it.

  • "And three, two doctors have told me that if I drink it, I will die."

  • "But they died first!"

  • To mark the occasion, the soft drink company sent Sullivan a cake shaped like--what else--a can of Dr Pepper.

  • "Not for women"

  • Ironically, it seems Sullivan probably shouldn't have been drinking Dr Pepper at all, because in 2011, the company unveiled an ad campaign instructing viewers that their low calorie Dr Pepper Ten was not intended for women.

  • "Dr Pepper 10--it's not for women!"

  • While a Dr Pepper vice president insisted that "women get the joke," it's hard to argue that the campaign wasn't sexist, and it raised the ire of both women and across media.

  • For example, Jill Pantozzi of The Mary Sue wrote: "Next time Dr Pepper, just put genitals on all your beverages, that way we'll know which ones are okay to drink."

  • "Catchphrase!"

  • They made Christians mad

  • In 2012, a Facebook ad illustrating Dr Pepper's supposed effect on evolution riled a group of Christians as it challenged their belief in creationism.

  • While obviously a joke, some didn't find it very funny, with comments to the Facebook post including responses such as, "I ain't no freaking chimp.

  • "No more Dr Pepper for my household"

  • And: "I love Dr Pepper but hate this photo."

  • "Forget evolution […] Jesus all the way!"

  • Evangelicals were also upset back in 2001.

  • In an attempt to honor the victims of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, Dr Pepper issued special patriotic themed cans which included phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • The problem, according to those who were upset, was the words used were, "One nationindivisible" rather than the full phrase, "One nation under God, indivisible."

  • Dr Pepper was accused of being "too politically correct" and angry consumers called for a boycott.

  • But the company explained it was purely a logistical issue.

  • "Due to space limitations on the can, only a few of the 31 words from the Pledge of Allegiance could be used."

  • "More than 90 percent were not included."

  • They refused to pull cans from shelves, saying that it was a "resoundingly patriotic, bipartisan message that we are a united nation."

We will probably never know the secret recipe of the the oldest major soft drink in the United States, but Dr Pepper has been around since 1885, and in all that time you can bet there are some secrets of the brand that have been divulged.

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What You Need To Know Before Drinking Another Dr Pepper

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