Like many soft drinks, this fizzy cough medicine flavoured muck from the USA began life as the result of an experiment in a pharmacy.
Charles Alderton, a pharmacist at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas, enjoyed experimenting with the flavoured syrups at the shop’s soda fountain. In 1885 Alderton mixed and matched flavourings until he had crafted a unique drink that customers loved.
Once Alderton perfected his new concoction, it needed a name. Patrons originally referred to the drink as “a Waco,” but Alderton’s boss, Wade Morrison, thought the elixir needed a catchier name. Morrison dubbed the drink Dr Pepper in a nod to a Dr Charles T. Pepper who he claimed had been a colleague in his younger days in Rural Retreat, Virginia.
The Texan soda fizzed its way into the national consciousness at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
The company has never divulged any of the ingredients that make up its proprietary recipe — other than confirming that prune juice is not one of them.