Variations and Substitutions
The Dr. Pepper cocktail is pretty laid back when it comes to changing ingredients or adjusting flavors. Consider a few of these.
- Experiment with a stout or porter beer for a richer flavor, but take care that those can be sweeter. Likewise, different IPAs and different styles of IPAs will yield different flavors.
- Create a bold cherry flavor with cherry cola, or add a quarter to a half-ounce of cherry liqueur.
- Use a half-ounce of amaretto liqueur with a half-ounce of dark rum.
- Instead of amaretto, use equal parts rum and Fernet for a more bitter-tasting cocktail.
- Serve the Dr. Pepper cocktail in a chilled martini or coupe glass for a more elegant look.
There's no proper, official garnish for the Dr. Pepper cocktail, but this is a beautiful thing because you can get as creative or conservative as you'd like.
- If you want to stick with the lemon garnish, consider a lemon wheel or wedge. Otherwise, opt for a lemon peel, twist, or ribbon.
- Use an orange slice, wedge, wheel, or consider an orange peel, twist, or ribbon for a softer citrus touch.
- Pierce several maraschino cherries together or just elect for a single one. A cocktail cherry would also make for an excellent touch.
About the Dr. Pepper Cocktail
The Dr. Pepper cocktail is a fairly contemporary cocktail with mysterious origins. Some claim it came from a college in Texas; after all, who else but a college student could craft such a cocktail. Another possible origin is New Orleans, home to the sazerac and vieux carré, where a bar claims to have been the first to serve up this ingenious recipe. Whichever tale proves true, the Dr. Pepper cocktail is an excellent representation of the 1980s and the cocktails it spawned. Of even more debate is what came first, the Dr. Pepper cocktail or the Dr. Pepper shot.
Spinning Dr. Pepper Out of Thin Air
This jumbled list of ingredients may not scream cocktail, but they whisper it to those who are willing to listen. This cocktail was likely crafted due to curiosity and experimentation, and fortune certainly favored the bold. So put your expectations aside and give the alcoholic Dr. Pepper cocktail a whirl.