Dr Pepper vs Root Beer

Popular carbonated soft drinks that have been available for more than a century include Dr. Pepper and Root Beer.


Dr. Pepper was invented in Texas in 1885 by a pharmacist by the name of Charles Alderton, but root beer was first manufactured commercially in the US in 1876. Both drinks have a distinctive flavor and are well-liked by many people, but what distinguishes them from one another?

The composition and flavor profile of Dr Pepper and root beer are two of their key distinctions. Root beer has a distinctive flavor of wintergreen, anise, cinnamon, molasses, honey, licorice, and cherry because it is prepared using sassafras tree bark. Dr Pepper, on the other hand, comes in 23 varieties, including cherry, allspice, and licorice. As a result, it has a distinctive flavor that is complex and spicy in comparison to other soft drinks.

Dr. Pepper and root beer are both well-liked options for people who like a carbonated beverage, despite their distinctions. There is no doubting that both beverages have endured the test of time, whether you favor the distinctive flavor of root beer or the sophisticated fusion of tastes in Dr Pepper.

History of Dr Pepper and Root Beer

Dr Pepper and Root Beer are two popular soft drinks that have been enjoyed by people for over a century.


The history of Dr Pepper dates back to 1885 when a pharmacist named Charles Alderton created a unique blend of 23 flavors in Waco, Texas. He experimented with different flavors at his soda fountain and eventually came up with the formula that would become Dr Pepper. The drink was first served at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco and quickly became popular among locals.

Dr Pepper was officially introduced at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. The drink was marketed as a refreshing and energizing beverage that could cure a variety of ailments. It was later advertised as “the drink that picks you up and never lets you down.” The unique blend of flavors in Dr Pepper has made it one of the most recognizable soft drinks in the world.

Root beer, on the other hand, has a longer history dating back to at least the eighteenth century. It was first sold in confectionery stores in the 1840s and written recipes for root beer have been documented since the 1860s. The drink was often consumed hot in the nineteenth century before it became a popular cold beverage.

Charles Elmer Hires, a Philadelphia pharmacist, is credited with creating the first commercial brand of root beer in 1876. He introduced the drink at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition and it quickly became a hit. Hires marketed his root beer as a “healthful, invigorating, and refreshing” drink that was made from natural ingredients.

Comparison of Dr Pepper and Root Beer

When it comes to soda, two of the most popular flavors are Dr Pepper and Root Beer.


While both drinks are carbonated and sweet, there are some key differences between the two.

Flavor Profile

The most significant difference between Dr Pepper and Root Beer is their flavor profile. Dr Pepper is known for its unique blend of 23 different flavors, which includes cherry, caramel, and vanilla, among others.

The result is a complex taste that is both sweet and spicy. In contrast, Root Beer is made with the distinct sassafras tree bark and tastes like wintergreen, anise, cinnamon, molasses, honey, licorice, and cherry. The taste of Root Beer is typically creamier and less spicy than Dr Pepper.


When it comes to calories, both Dr Pepper and Root Beer are fairly similar. The exact number of calories will vary depending on the brand and serving size, but generally speaking, both drinks contain around 150-200 calories per 12-ounce can.


In terms of nutrition, Dr Pepper and Root Beer are not the healthiest choices. Both drinks are high in sugar and contain little to no nutritional value. However, if you’re looking for a slightly healthier option, some brands of Root Beer are made with natural ingredients and are free from artificial sweeteners.

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table highlighting some of the key differences between Dr Pepper and Root Beer:

Dr PepperRoot Beer
Flavor ProfileBlend of 23 flavors, sweet and spicyWintergreen, anise, cinnamon, molasses, honey, licorice, and cherry, creamy and less spicy
Calories150-200 calories per 12-ounce can150-200 calories per 12-ounce can
NutritionHigh in sugar, little to no nutritional valueHigh in sugar, little to no nutritional value

Ingredients and Flavor Profile

Dr Pepper Ingredients and Flavor

Dr Pepper is a popular soft drink with a unique flavor profile. The soda is made from a blend of 23 different flavors, including cherry, vanilla, and caramel. It is a carbonated cola-based drink that is sweet and spicy, with a slightly fruity taste. The soda also contains caffeine, which gives it a little kick.


According to the FDA, Dr Pepper is made with carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), and caffeine. The soda contains 150 calories per 12-ounce serving and 40 grams of sugar.

Root Beer Ingredients and Flavor

Root beer is a non-alcoholic, carbonated soft drink that is known for its creamy and complex flavor profile. The soda is made from a blend of natural and artificial flavors, including sassafras, anise, licorice, cinnamon, honey, allspice, orange, clove, juniper, lemon, nutmeg, and raspberry. The soda is sweet and spicy, with a wintergreen taste.

Root beer is traditionally made with sassafras tree bark, which contains safrole, a compound that was banned by the FDA in 1960 for its toxic properties. Nowadays, most commercial brands of root beer use artificial flavors instead of sassafras bark. The soda is typically made with high-fructose corn syrup and contains around 160 calories per 12-ounce serving.

Root beer is often enjoyed in a root beer float, which is made by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a glass of root beer. The combination of the sweet soda and creamy ice cream is a classic treat.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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