I invented this homemade Dr Pepper in need of a healthy alternative to Diet Dr Pepper. After checking the ingredient list of a can of Diet Dr Pepper I was wondering if there are any healthy ways to make it myself. It was surprisingly easy and simple to develop, the flavor became great and authentic by itself. Now I can have a healthy alternative whenever I want! Even better, the drink consists of a mere 3 ingredients!
Update 21st October 2013:Frontier Natural Products have changed the flavor and the color of the cherry flavor because they wanted to get rid of the possible GMO-suspect ingredients. That’s a great thing as such, but as a consequence this drink doesn’t taste exactly like Dr Pepper anymore. Well, the drink still tastes good, just not exactly like Dr Pepper.
Tips for making the drink
This is a very easy drink to make, it doesn’t even take a minute to whip up. The most important thing is to mix the ingredients gently enough, because the drink spews very easily.
Instead of preparing the drink in a can, you can naturally prepare it in a glass. Just drop the cola stevia and pour the cherry flavor into the glass and fill with soda water. Stir gently and that’s it!
My experiments with the drink
After ordering a bottle of cola stevia from iHerb I was thinking of ways how to use it. It gave a nice flavor when added to plain soda water, but I couldn’t really think it as replacement for real cola.
I had bought a can of Diet Dr Pepper and was horrified after reading the ingredients list. I remembered the bottle of cola stevia and was wondering if I could make my own, healthy version of Dr Pepper. Luckily I had some cherry flavor in my pantry as well. Then a can of soda water from the fridge and in a snap I had a refreshing — and healthy — imitation of Dr Pepper. Well, I had that one can of real Diet Dr Pepper for reference, which helped in comparing and adjusting my own version.
I tried different ratios of the ingredients and found soon the best ones. First I used just 1 teaspoon cherry flavor, which was pretty okay, but 1 1/2 teaspoons gave more intensive and better flavor. I also tried with 50 drops cola stevia, but that tasted too much stevia, with licorice-like aftertaste.
It was difficult to calculate nutrition information for this drink, because the manufacturers of the flavors didn’t provide much information. However, I expect this drink contains only a trace of carbs as well as other macronutrients.
Tips for variation
Since this is meant to be an imitation of Dr Pepper, any variation makes it something else. In case you are not a fan of Dr Pepper, you can always use your favorite flavors. Here are some ideas what to use instead of cola stevia and cherry flavor:
- 40 drops vanilla stevia and 2 tablespoons organic heavy cream for Vanilla Egg Cream. This is so heavenly that it would deserve a blog post of its own!
- 40 drops toffee stevia and 2 tablespoons 100% cranberry juice (this is actually close to the Cranberry Toffee Spritzer variation of my White Wine Spritzer)
- 30 drops cola stevia and 1 teaspoon orange stevia crystals.
I also tried the drink with combination of cola stevia and orange flavor, but the drink wasn’t palatable, I hardly could drink it. I think it was the orange flavor which was spoiling the drink. I also tried with freshly squeezed orange juice and cola stevia, and the drink tasted okay, but somehow a bit too bland. What was really good was the combination of cola stevia and orange stevia crystals.
The cherry flavor has been discontinued. What can I use now?
Oh damn. Thanks for letting me know. Another natural cherry flavor would do the job. I have to research the alternatives. Please let me know if you have anything in your mind.
Where do you buy the flavors to put in the soda water ?
Usually I buy them from iHerb: https://iherb.com/?rcode=IRA341 or from Amazon.
40 drops seems like way to much stevia. I use 6-10 drops for 16 oz drink.
It totally depends on the brand, some are much sweeter than others. There’s a link in the recipe to the brand I’ve used.
When was the last time you made this? I dare you to try 40 drops. It’ll be toooooo much.
I think I tried it half a year ago and it was just perfect with 40 drops. Cola stevia is not very powerful — unless the manufacturer has changed the formula. Have you tried with 40 drops?
Ohhh I would have LOVED to have tried this when it tasted like diet dr pepper! I was kinda hooked on that. I was more hooked on diet pepsi but the dr pepper was a good change.
I may try making some “soda” still with your ratios and sparkling water!! Go, Elviira!
Hi Hélène, I still make this on a regular basis even it’s not exactly like Diet Dr. Pepper anymore. It’s still a very flavorful drink and my husband loves it! Please tell me how you liked it if you try it out!
Just got around to trying this and it is great. As I was using a good, natural bottled soda water, I just made 8 oz of this and adusted according. I used 30 drops of the cola stevia and one teaspoon of the cherry flavor in 8 oz of soda water. Very good. Thanks.
Hi Deborah, thanks for trying out my recipe! Great to hear you liked the drink!
Thank you for posting this great alternative. I am not a fan of stevia but this is great!
Thanks, Amber! So great to hear that you like the beverage even it contains stevia!
Never seen this…What is canned soda water? Name brand please?
Hi Elaine, it’s just carbonated water in a can. You can use water with or without minerals. (I prefer without for my drinks.) Also home-made carbonated water will do.