Monday, August 24, 2009

What is Dublin Dr. Pepper?

Here in Texas it isn't a mystery to anyone, we see "Dublin Dr. Pepper" all the time and it is starting to show up at more and more fast food restaurants. But I'm betting that some of you out there haven't heard of it, so here's a little background:

Dublin Dr. Pepper is only different from the regular Dr. Pepper soft drink in one important way... Pure Cane Sugar is as a sweetener instead of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).

With all the hub-bub about HFCS these days (justified or not), a lot of people seek out products without it and for Dr. Pepper fans who want to eliminate HFCS, this is their only option.

But what about taste? Just about everyone you ask, including myself, will tell you they can definitely tell the difference between Dublin DP and regular DP. With Dublin DP the sweetness is more 'natural' and many claim there isn't an HFCS aftertaste that is noticeable with beverages sweetened with HFCS.

But why Dublin? Well, Dublin Dr. Pepper is only produced in one place: Dublin, Texas. (By the way, we also have towns in Texas named London, Athens, Paris, and 'Cut and Shoot'!)

In the late '70s when most soft drink makers were switching from cane sugar to HFCS, the owner of the Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Company decided not to make the switch. To this day, they only use cane sugar, year 'round, to make their Dr. Pepper.

Technically, Dr. Pepper from the Dublin plant can only be sold in a 44-mile radius of Dublin, Texas, but 'bootlegged' bottles of Dublin Dr. Pepper can be found throughout Texas and even in other states. These bottles are purchased in the Dublin area and the shipped and re-sold elsewhere. It can also be purchased online.

By the way, the Dublin bottling plant is the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler. It has been in continuous use since 1891, just 6 years after DP debuted in Waco, Texas.

"Dublin" might even become an adjective to describe beverages (or other products) made without HFCS and with cane sugar. I drove by a Chicken Express restaurant recently and their sign out front advertised "Dublin Lemonade." I drove-through and ordered one and asked the girl why it was called Dublin Lemonade. I knew the answer before I asked, but she confirmed it, "It's made with real sugar, not that corn stuff."

Around here (Dallas/Fort Worth) you can go in just about any grocery store and pick up a six pack of 8oz. bottles of Dublin DP.

You never know where Dublin Dr. Pepper might pop up. Evidently it is available 'on-tap' at a Jason's Deli in Denver, CO.

The photo above shows the Dublin Dr. Pepper 8 oz. bottles. Note the "Imperial Sugar" logo on the bottle and 6-pack box. This is found only on Dublin Dr. Pepper as it is the only Dr. Pepper to use real pure cane sugar.

There are some other smaller bottlers that use pure cane sugar.

Mexico is another popular source of soft drinks made with real sugar (as opposed to corn syrup). Coca-Cola made in Mexico is not made with HFCS and is also available in many grocery stores in Texas and California. Another Mexican option free of HFCS is Jarritos sodas. Jarritos started in Mexico in 1950, is the first national soft drink brand in Mexico and the leading brand in the mexican soft drink category in the U.S. Jarritos is available in nine delicious fruit flavors: Tamarind, Mandarin, Fruit Punch, Jamaica, Lime, Grapefruit, Guava, Pineapple and Strawberry.

Another great Cane Sugar carbonated beverage is Boylan's. They have a ton of flavors and also don't use HFCS.

So, next time you're in Texas, give Dublin Dr. Pepper a try and see if you can tell the difference between using pure cane sugar and HFCS as a sweetener.

If you do, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Also let us know where you've found Dublin Dr. Pepper outside of Texas and any other Dublin DP stories.


Christy said...

Jones Soda is also made with cane sugar.

Dublin Dr. Pepper is available on tap at Jason's Deli in Olathe, KS.

Anonymous said...

Sadly the Jason's Deli here in Columbus GA no longer carries Dublin Dr. Pepper :/

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

As a resident of Olathe, I cannot wait to try the Dublin Dr. Pepper.

When I was in Pakistan in the early 90s, my tastes switched from Coke to Pepsi - because they both use real sugar there, the formulation/taste changed. Yes, there IS a different between corn and sugar. Heh.

JustinM said...

I go to Galco's Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles and get myself some Dublin DP every once in a while. It's certainly pricey, but it's fun to sit on the couch in the summer and watch baseball with a bottle of it in my hand

Scott Jones said...

Thanks for the rundown, I had no idea it came from Dublin, Texas. And yes, it was available in Denver, the only place I've ever seen it.

Turbo Sexophonic said...

Just moved away from Austin and I so miss Dublin Dr. Pepper and Mex soft drinks.

Anonymous said...

wicked as im from tasmania, australia and i found dr pepper in elizabeth town so happy .... dr perpper dublin is much better tasting

Kathryn T. S. Bass said...

Costco carries Mexican Coke (at least here in Denver).

Marktrek said...

What upsets me the most is that along with other crops, growing corn is subsidized in the US. Now for small farmers, I agree with the policy. But we do this to keep food prices down. Making sugar out of corn has put the cane business in Hawaii, Florida and Louisiana out of business. It has also ruined the beet sugar business in places like Colorado. So our tax dollars are going to ruin diverse agriculture and make unhealthy products. The tax subsidy should not be used for corn turned into sugar.