In early March, it is SUPPOSED to be something like 60 degrees; instead, we had a snow day yesterday. (It’s worth noting that a “snow day” in South Carolina simply indicates that there was a prediction for a chance of snow greater than 50%, and so the entire region panicked and closed the schools. You should see them when it actually snows. I shouldn’t laugh, but come on, folks — must you act like flurries are not a sign of the End Times?) In that spirit, I decided to go with a warm winter drink this week. Via the charming recipes of RecipeCurio.com, we bring you…
(Depending on what region of the country you’re from, this could be Hot Soda, Hot Pop, or Hot Coke.)
HOT DR PEPPER
Clever people who enjoy something different–-devilishly different and delicious–-will welcome this exciting Winter Warmer . . . Hot Dr Pepper! Easy to prepare-–simply heat Dr Pepper in a saucepan until it steams and pour into a glass or cup over a slice of lemon. Perfect for the family or when friends drop in-–and take along a thermos of Hot Dr Pepper when enjoying outdoor activities. Hot Dr Pepper–-the distinctive Winter Warmer!
Seriously, doesn’t this read like a crazy marketing stunt? Hmmm, our sales drop off in winter months when everyone’s too cold to want a nice iced soft drink… let’s encourage them to HEAT it instead! I’ve had warm soda, and it wasn’t a taste which made me want it to be even warmer.
But I’m willing to give it a fair shot. Let’s see, how did that recipe go again… ah yes:
(1) boil Dr Pepper, and
(2) drink it.
To give other soft drinks equal opportunity to shine, I tried the same recipe with Cheerwine. It’s a local beverage (produced by the Carolina Beverage Corporation, making it just as Southern as Coca Cola) that Buzz calls a Dr Pepper knock-off, but is actually more cherry and less cola. (The company calls the flavor “unbridled deliciousness”, which is not all that descriptive.)
And the verdict? There’s a reason this idea never caught on. The kindest description I can manage is “drinkable”; I finished it, but I won’t ever make it again. Both ended up tasting like bad (albeit sweet) tea. It was quite fruity; the cola flavors of the Dr Pepper were basically gone, although it did still have a more caramel flavor than the ultra-cherry Cheerwine. If you’ve ever had Celestial Seasoning’s Red Zinger (or any raspberry-based herbal tea), then you’ve got the general idea. The lemon wedge was vital for making the drink palatable. I must admit though, it was much better than drinking warm soda — but not nearly as good as an icy cold soda. The fizziness just isn’t there after it’s been boiled!
Stick with a nice cup of cocoa for winter drinking.