What Flavor is Dr. Pepper? (Interesting Facts)

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Since its invention nearly one-and-a-half centuries ago, Dr. Pepper has retained its authentic flavor formula in all versions of the drink. Whether you are a big fan of the Dr. Pepper original, diet or the zero-sugar options, at its core, Dr. Pepper is a combination of 23 signature flavors.

Find out the available flavors of Dr. Pepper that you should try as well as interesting facts about this complex drink.

Dr. Pepper Flavors to Try

Over the years, Dr. Pepper has treated its fans to various flavors and spin-offs. Some of these spin-offs have been a commercial success while others have flopped and subsequently withdrawn from the market. Some like vanilla float and dark berries continue to come back from time to time.

Regardless of your choice of Dr. Pepper, they all have the signature 23 flavors. Here are Dr. Pepper flavors that you should try.

  1. Dr. Pepper with real sugar
  2. Dr. Pepper cream soda
  3. Dr.Pepper cherry vanilla
  4. Dr. Pepper cherry
  5. Dr. Pepper vanilla float
  6. Dr. Pepper dark berry
  7. Dr. Pepper berries and cream
  8. Dr. Pepper original
  9. Zero sugar Dr. Pepper
  10. Diet Dr. Pepper

1. Dr. Pepper With Real Sugar

Dr. Pepper with real sugar has a superior flavor to classic Dr. Pepper which uses HFCS as cane sugar does not overwhelm the signature flavors that we desire in Dr. Pepper and has no aftertaste.

The first Dr. Pepper was, actually, sweetened with pure cane sugar before the switch to HFCS in the 1970s and 80s due to the rising cane prices. All Dr. Pepper bottling plants except the Dublin plant started using high fructose corn syrup and the Dublin plant continues to use pure cane syrup to date.

Dr. Pepper with real sugar is a superb choice for people who can not stand high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It is available in cans and retro glass bottles.

There have been concerns that Dr. Pepper with real sugar has been discontinued but that is not the case. However, due to distribution problems, this drink may not be available in some parts of North America so online sources may come in handy. Distribution is mostly around Central Texas.

2. Dr. Pepper Cream Soda

If you are a fan of cream sodas, then Dr. Pepper cream soda is worth trying. It is a harmonious pair of cream soda and Dr. Pepper which delicately balances the bold flavors of the classic pepper and the creamy vanilla taste of cream soda.

This drink has a fruitier vanilla edge than the classic Dr. Pepper. When you take a sip, the creamy vanilla taste initially dominates and gradually the subtle spicy hints of pepper come to the fore with subsequent sips.

It is also available as Dr. Pepper cream soda with zero sugar.

3. Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla

This drink combines cherry and vanilla with the cherry having a slightly bigger bite than the vanilla. Dr. Pepper cherry vanilla starts with the taste of cherry before vanilla and the base Dr. Pepper flavors begin to reach your taste buds as you sip on it some more.

If you love cherry and vanilla, you can never have a perfect-er combination in a soft drink. It has a bit of a red tint as compared to the darker-colored classic pepper.

This drink is however not available in most locations in the US. You are likely to find stocks of diet cherry vanilla in different stores and no regular cherry vanilla.

4. Dr. Pepper Cherry

Due to the complexity of the flavors in Dr. Pepper, you may not know what to expect when trying a different flavor of the drink. However, given the name you would expect Dr. Pepper cherry to have a bigger bite of cherry than the classic pepper.

This drink, however, has a similar if not a little weaker cherry edge than Dr. Pepper original. It’s still a decent drink but does not quite stir up your imagination.

I prefer zero sugar Dr. Pepper cherry to the regular Dr. Pepper cherry purely for the zero calories and sugar. For a bigger taste of cherry, you may want to go with the cherry vanilla option.

5. Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float

Dr. Pepper vanilla float debuted as a summer limited-edition drink about a decade ago and has been brought back at least twice.

It is a rare drink that is marketed in specific areas mostly the southern states of the USA.

Its taste is not particularly different from the classic version of Dr. Pepper and the bolder vanilla flavor that you expect as per the name becomes more apparent the slower you savor the drink. The hints of vanilla ice cream gradually grow on your taste buds.

So, if you chug a can of Dr. Pepper vanilla float you will hardly taste its complexity.

6. Dr. Pepper Dark Berry

Dr. Pepper dark berries is another blast from the past that is available for a limited duration. The newest edition is the Jurassic park edition.

Dr. Pepper dark berry is a mouthwatering nectar of beauty with hints of blackcurrants, blackberries, and raspberry with the signature peppery finish. The cans feature themed colors and, sometimes, images.

7. Dr. Pepper Berries and Cream

Dr. Pepper berries and cream was available as a giveaway for a limited period in early 2022 after the viral berries and cream trend on TikTok.

The drink was not available on the shelves and customers had to win a sweepstake to get their hands on it. This creamy blend combines the sweetness of raspberry and blueberry with vanilla undertones.

8. Dr. Pepper (Classic)

This is the newer but classic Dr. Pepper that is sweetened with HFCS. It is available across North America and parts of the World. The original Dr. Pepper has been a staple drink in Texas, its hometown, for decades.

9. Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar

If you are a sucker for diet soft drinks then Dr. Pepper zero sugar will blow your taste buds away. In a way, it is hard to describe zero sugar Dr. Pepper without comparing it to the diet Dr. Pepper.

If you thought diet Dr. Pepper tastes almost like regular Dr. Pepper, you will be surprised that zero sugar tastes like the classic pepper. It is gloriously that good!

Zero sugar Dr. Pepper is sweeter, more syrupy, and has lower carbonation than diet pepper.

10. Diet Dr. Pepper

It was probably the best diet soda until the zero sugar Dr. Pepper debuted in 2021. Diet Dr. Pepper is a bit watery, more carbonated, and less sweet than zero sugar.

Its un-diet flavor makes it a popular drink since its debut in 1963. Compared to other diet soft drinks, it has a more delicious crisp taste with no diet aftertaste.

What Are the 23 Flavors of Dr. Pepper?

Dr. Pepper mega fans believe that the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper are; pepper, allspice, licorice, vanilla, anise, sarsaparilla, cinnamon, clove, plum, almond, blackberry, nutmeg, raspberry, ginger, apricot, cardamom, molasses, lemon, juniper, prickly ash, orange, birch, and caramel. The manufacturer keeps the proprietary flavor formula a secret to avoid reproduction.

Some taste testers suggest that mint and prunes may also be part of the flavors but the company categorically states that there is no part of prune in Dr. Pepper.

23 flavors in dr pepper

Does Dr. Pepper Have Pepper In It?

Yes, Dr. Pepper has pepper in it as part of its 23 signature flavors. Some people refer to Dr. Pepper as pepper soda. It has a unique pepperiness that tasters have attributed to pepper and other spices such as licorice, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon which are considered part of the secret formula.

What Does Dr. Pepper Taste Like?

Keeping in mind that Dr. Pepper is a blend of 23 different flavors, it’s difficult to precisely describe its taste. Dr. Pepper has a bold flavor with exquisite sweetness and hints of spicy cherry and vanilla.

To most people, the taste of Dr. Pepper is akin to the taste of prune juice with vanilla and cherry spice undertones although Dr. Pepper does not contain prune.

All in all, Dr. Pepper tastes different to different people – a sort of whirlwind of tastes. Its complex blend of flavors makes it hard to describe the taste.

Dr. Pepper tastes nothing like coke or Pepsi. There is no in-between with Dr. Pepper; you either love it or hate it. Those who hate the drink can’t stand it.

Is Dr. Pepper Cola?

No, Dr. Pepper is not cola and does not have cola in it as it does not use kola nut extract in its ingredients. A 1963 Federal court ruling clearly stated that Dr. Pepper is not a cola.

Dr. Pepper Ingredients (What is Dr. Pepper Made of?)

Generally, Dr. Pepper is made of carbonated water, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, sweeteners, caffeine, sodium benzoate, and phosphoric acid. The sweetener varies depending on the type of drink. For example, Dr. Pepper real sugar uses pure cane syrup whereas regular Dr. pepper uses high fructose corn syrup.

Sodium benzoate is a preservative whereas phosphoric acid keeps molds and bacteria at bay.

The natural and artificial flavors constitute 23 different flavors which contribute to the overall complex flavor.

Wrap Up

There are more than 10 flavors of Dr. Pepper that you can buy and they all contain the signature formula that has 23 flavors.

Some Dr. Pepper drinks are only available for limited periods or in a few regions only. The Dr. Pepper Museum at Waco, Texas is a great place to get your hands on some of the limited edition drinks.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

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