People Used to Heat Up Their Dr Pepper

obsequies, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
obsequies, Flickr // CC BY 2.0 / obsequies, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Back in the '50s and '60s, people were a little confused when it came to party food. Flip through any retro cookbook and you'll find disgusting delights like blue cheese mousse, or tuna and Jell-O pie. Another crime against food was hot Dr Pepper, which is exactly what it sounds like. 

To make this syrupy concoction, heat the otherwise refreshing soda in a saucepan to about 180 degrees. Pour into a mug with a thin slice of lemon and drink. The resulting drink will be sugary, hot—and flat. Some people believe this will help with colds and other ailments.  

Dr Pepper invented this recipe back in the '60s. Cold soda never sold well when it was cold outside, so they re-marketed the drink as a hot beverage to serve at Christmas parties. The fad mostly caught on in the South, but eventually faded from soda history. 

Maybe this is just because it's hot out, but the idea of hot soda seems absolutely unforgivable to me. Still, to condemn it without actually trying it would be unethical, so the mental_floss staff sucked it up and, in the name of science, microwaved some soda. 

The results: a thick tea-like drink that resembled a non-alcoholic hot toddy. The lemony drink was less sweet, and numbed the tongue. Some of the comments that came from our taste-testing:

I wouldn’t do this to me on purpose. The lemon is key. It wouldn’t be good without the lemon.  This needs booze, like whiskey. Then it would be good.  I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wanting it. It's not the worst thing I ever tasted but…

But don't take our word for it.