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.