Tulsa Man May Hold Dr Pepper Formula

Monday, May 4th 2009, 6:06 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa man believes he has found the original recipe for Dr Pepper. It was overlooked in a Texas antique store after being handed down through several generations.

For ten years, Bill Waters poked through antique stores, looking for treasure.

"And I happened to notice there was a section of the store I hadn't been in," said Bill Waters, an antique dealer.

Back in a corner was a book of formulas that he thought looked valuable.

"I'm running through my mind, this is maybe $1,000, 2 maybe 3. I'm just thinking that in my mind, and so I said, ‘how much' and she said ‘$200.'"

Waters bought it and started flipping the 300 pages.

"And so finally I found a recipe entitled Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters," said Waters.

Pepsin bitters was the common name for stomach tonic.

A little closer look revealed the book was possibly from the pharmacy in Waco where Dr Pepper was invented.

What is now the modern soft drink started out in the late 1800's as a syrupy additive to tonic. Waters thinks he has found the original recipe for Dr Pepper.

"For one thing, the book was the book of formulas in that store," said Waters. "So why wouldn't they have the original formula in the book?"

The book is now at a Dallas auction house, set to sell May 13 with a minimum bid of $25,000.

Waters is hopeful.

"I think may the best man win it," laughed Waters. "I'll be glad for the best man to own it, just let him bid high."

While the book is up for bid, Waters plans to spend some time fishing, hoping to find another catch.

The Dr Pepper company denies the recipe in the book is the original.

Waters says there's no other way to authenticate it, but also no reason to believe it's not.

It's got the name of a man from the pharmacy on it and it's full of other formulas for drinks made at the pharmacy, so who knows? We'll see what it's worth in one week.