The fall season is beginning to make itself known here in Orlando. We have traded out 95 degree days (with humidity so thick you can cut slices of it and serve with whipped topping) for temperatures in the mid-eighties. The trees are turning from green to the same green. The air smelling of sweat mixed with citrus perfumes are bowing out for scents of sweat and sandalwood ones. Yep, Fall is here.
Who am I kidding? We would never know Fall has arrived if not for those disgusting cinnamon brooms the supermarkets trudge out that assault our noses. The aroma drives me crazy. Why the hell would anyone want their house to smell like smoker’s sneeze? It’s that unique blend of metal and curdled milk? Sorry dad, when you sneezed, it was the olfactory equivalent of Hiroshima.
So here I was in my local supermarket searching for some pizza rolls and the sickening wafts pillaged my nostrils. I didn’t care if I stretched the neck of my fitted t-shirt but I stuck my nose under the collar. Aware that I looked like I was trying to avoid the avian bird flu while roaming the aisles, I did not care. But then I found it, or maybe it found me (cue the Zamfir).
Dr Pepper Ten! All my friends know I am a sucker for two things: soft drinks with new flavors (I’m still hunting for that elusive mint-tinged Sprite Ice) and women who wear eyeglasses (drool). I am aware of the rules because for every Pepsi Lime there is a Pepsi Holiday Spice. I remember drinking the Holiday Spice and thought there was a demand for paint varnish flavored soft drinks. SCORE!!! I held a cold frosty bottle of the new Dr Pepper Ten.
Just to let you know Dr Pepper Ten also comes in the two-liter bottle (which normally go flat incredibly fast) and the standard case of twelve ounce cans. I decided to play it safe and buy the twenty ounce bottle because I did not want to commit to a dozen cans on the chance they taste like crap.
Dr Pepper is no stranger to different varieties of its flavor. I particularly was a big fan of their Dr Pepper Berries & Cream which was short lived in stores. I have been looking for this Dr Pepper Ten for some time and couldn’t believe they were here in front of me. Since writing this piece, they seem to be widely available now. My assumption is they are preparing for a nationwide rollout.
Just to let you know, the TEN refers to the ten calories per serving the doctor has. The weird thing is the ad campaign is marketing itself as a diet soda for men. I’m not sure if it is manlier to drink a diet soda that has ten calories versus none. I’m also not sure how they came up with ten calories being the threshold for a man’s drink versus eight or eleven calories. Honestly, a man’s drink is a tall glass of cheap scotch.
I am pretty certain if I went to my neighborhood biker bar and ordered a martini straight up with two black olives, holding a Dr Pepper Ten is not going to save me from a beat-down. Also do I think a woman drinking a Dr Pepper Ten is any less feminine because it’s supposedly for men? Nope, especially if she is wearing flirty black thin-rimmed eyeglasses.
Regardless of the stupid marketing, it’s all about the taste. The almost boiling weather couldn’t stop the condensation running from the bottle around my fingers. I twisted the cap and heard that satisfying pffffsssssttttttttttttt!
“Oh yeah,” I thought to myself and that was the last of my happiness.
The more appropriate name for Dr Pepper Ten is Dr Pepper Two. Read on and I will explain because like most underwhelming sequels (Ghostbusters II anyone?), this Dr Pepper rates a two. I give it two points: one for effort and another because it is not hydrochloric acid.
Like some beers, I think soda always tastes better in a pre-chilled glass and so I poured a generous amount. The bouquet (yeah I said bouquet) did not have that unique hint of a “nutmegish” scent that Dr Pepper normally has. In fact, it had no scent.
I took a sip and was instantly depressed. There was very little taste of the famous doctor, in fact there was very little taste. I did appreciate the lack of unpleasant sweet syrup that coats your teeth some diet sodas have. However, this is canceled out by the fact there was little flavor.
In fact, it tasted close to plain seltzer which made me pine for that heavy sweetness. Actually, I wouldn’t care if it tasted like prune juice (as it is rumored Dr Pepper is made from) as my taste buds wanted to grasp on to something. It claims there are Ten BOLD tasting calories but it is no bolder than a grey argyle sweater vest.
A clean finish for sure, which many sodas do not have, but what does it matter when there is no taste? I haven’t been this disappointed since Fox unforgivably cancelled the show “Drive” with geek approved actor Nathan Fillion. Speaking of amped manliness, I keep hoping he will team up with Bruce Campbell.
You know, if there are ten calories…it has got to be from eating the cap and bottle. Dr Pepper Ten is obviously for boring men (or men with way too sensitive taste buds). It hasn’t affected me since I still shop at Banana Republic, listen to New Order and have different colognes for night or day.
Furthermore, Dr Pepper Ten states proudly “It’s not for women.” Women aren’t missing much because a poor tasting product will fail regardless of which gender they are aiming for. If Dr Pepper Ten is for men, I’ll take a “girly” Diet Dr Pepper instead. Or a scotch.
(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.)
Item: Dr Pepper Ten
Size: 20 ounces
Purchased at: My neighborhood Publix that sells those forsaken cinnamon brooms.
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: No sticky film on your teeth. Nathan Fillion. Pleasant clean finish. Women in glasses, especially with their hair pulled back. Did I mention it doesn’t leave a sticky film on your “teeths”? Banana Republic circa 2006. It is only ten calories.
Cons: No Dr Pepper taste. No sweet taste. No taste. Networks canceling shows too early thus giving us viewer blue balls. Ad campaign is moronic. Not one of the ten calories are bold. CINNAMON BROOMS. Men, Women…either way it’s not good for either.