Texas is the second-largest state in America, with 29.3 million inhabitants.
Texas is proudly called The Lone Star State, which refers to their state flag. The diversity in Texas is significant, and it is a place of cultural richness.
Texans love their meat, beer, and their soda.
With so many people, it would be hard to imagine a single soda that is favored, so what is the most popular soda in Texas?
Dr. Pepper soda has such a fascinating history attached to it.
It was created a year before Coca-Cola and very quickly became popular in Texas.
They love the sweet, caffeinated drink with its distinct flavor profile.
It is well carbonated, and the recipe is a well-guarded secret.
Some say it tastes like licorice and allspice with a bit of mint.
Let us look at the popularity of Dr. Pepper and its rival Big Red a little more in-depth;
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What Is The National Drink Of Texas?
There is a massive debate around which soda can walk away with the National Drink of Texas title.
The soda contenders at the top of the list are Dr. Pepper and Big Red.
They are both national treasures, and Texans are fierce in protecting the one they favor.
Dr. Pepper has been around the longest, and most Texans grow up knowing it will come down to choosing either.
Almost like a favorite football team, it can divide families.
Famously Dr. Pepper has an advertising slogan that reads “ National Drink Of Texas” however that is not by way of consensus but simply because they are proud of their heritage as a true Texan drink.
Dr. Pepper started in a pharmacy in Waco, Texas, in 1880. Pharmacist Charles Alderton created it.
The pharmacy owner, Wade Morrison, loved the drink, and they started offering it in the store drink fountain.
Regulars that would come in would order “a Waco” since it didn’t have a name.
The pharmacist gave up the recipe to Morrison, who famously called the drink Dr. Pepper after a doctor whose daughter he wanted to marry.
Needless to say, he never married her, but he did end up becoming very rich as Dr. Pepper became nationally available in 1904.
The wedding story is more of an urban legend than truth, but it’s a great one.
Is Dr. Pepper A Texas Drink?
Dr. Pepper is considered to be the first Texan drink.
The original name was Waco after the town it was created in and was only given the name Dr. Pepper in 1904 when it became a marketable product.
The feasibility of the soda was apparent.
Having its roots well established in Texas, it was only available inside Texas and was only much later sold to a few states for a long time.
The way some love to drink their Dr. Pepper is to put salted peanuts inside and leave them to salt the soda.
They then drink it and eat the now sweet peanuts as they come out.
This is a very Texan thing to do. Dr. Pepper is a 100% pure Texan drink from its inception.
What Does Dr. Pepper Taste Like?
For a long time, people have rumored that Dr. Pepper contains prune juice and possibly mandrake root. The company has denied these claims for many years.
No one knows the whole recipe as it is guarded in two separate bank vaults, and nobody can see the two individual parts as a rule.
Dr. Pepper’s original flavor is described as A bold flavor with a blend of mint, allspice, and licorice.
Dr. Pepper now has 22 additional flavors in the range;
- Pepper Red Fusion – Cherry flavored and red was the first flavor to be added in 2002.
- Pepper Cherry Vanilla = The original with added vanilla
- Pepper Berries and Cream – Bursting berries and cream, discontinued in 2007
- Pepper Cream Soda – Dark color with a distinct vanilla flavor.
- Pepper Diet Cherry Chocolate – Sweet cherries and distinctive chocolate flavor.
- Pepper Cherry – Bursting with a full sweet cherry flavor.
- Pepper Heritage – Original flavor
- Pepper Made With Real Sugar – Made with cane sugar, not sweeteners.
- Pepper Vanilla Float – Original with vanilla flavor.
- Pepper Dark Berry – Black cherry, black currant, and blackberry flavor. Limited edition.
- Pepper Zero – Diet soda, original flavor.
Those customers who are loyal Dr. Pepper consumers will say the original flavor is still the best and most popular.
Where Is Big Red Soda Sold?
Big Red is a very popular soda in Texas, and some will argue and say it is more in demand than Dr. Pepper.
Big Red was also created in Waco, Texas, but a few years after Dr. Pepper.
It came into being in 1937, and it was initially called Sun Tang Red Cream Soda; and while playing a round of golf, Harold Jansing changed the name to Big Red after a caddy was overheard calling the soda by that name.
The name change was such a success that it even has a day dedicated to it.
In 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky, the mayor Greg Fisher proclaimed May 16th to be the official Big Red Day.
This was to commemorate the 80th anniversary that Big Red had been sold there.
Big Red is so prevalent in the Southern states that all Juneteenth celebrations are synonymous with soda.
Big Red was originally only marketed and sold in Texas and then around Louisville, Kentucky, for a long time.
Currently, you can find Big Red in Texas, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
You might be unlucky enough not to live in the Lone Star State, but if you are looking for a Big Red, you can find the Texas Primer not too far South.
What Does Big Red Soda Taste Like?
Big Red is a lighter, fire engine red color.
It is sold in glass and cans, and they have added a few new flavors to the range.
The original taste is delightful and sweet.
It also has the distinct flavors of orange and lemon oils, vanilla flavoring, and a secret ingredient that makes you return for more.
It has the typical cream soda taste, but where some soda like the Sparletta version is green.
The newer flavors of Big Red are;
- Retro Big Red – Made with cane sugar
- Big Red Vanilla Float
- Big Blue
- Big Peach
- Big Manzana ( Apple )
- Big Pineapple
Big Red is currently distributed by Keurig Dr. Pepper, who also owns a minority share in the company since 2008. They distribute around 80% of the consumed Big Red sodas annually, and they are still manufactured in Waco, Texas.
The love for all things Texas is never more apparent than with these two sodas.
Both Dr. Pepper and Big Red are as Texan as you can get.
There is no way you can go to a barbeque without a six-pack of either.
The chances that they will disappear in the shadow of other soda giants are slim since they are supported with fierce loyalty.
Can It be the taste alone? Sure, both of these sodas are delicious and have distinctive flavors that separate them from one another.
Big Red is considered more Texan than Dr. Pepper because it has no outside influence where production is concerned.
Those who love it believe that Texas Primer and Dr. Pepper are too essential and popular for Texas to lose either.