Chip-'n'-Jo-la, Fizzer Upper, Gaines-er Ale, anyone?

Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 19, 2018

What do Chip-and-Jo and Dr.Pepper have in common? Well, they both consider the Texas town of Waco their home.

It may not be advertised on the can, but the flavorful soft drink has its origins in Waco, Texas, dating back to 1885. In fact, while in town, you can visit the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Intstitute, housed in a former bottling plant. As described on the Dr Pepper Museum's website, the fruity, zesty soda was created by Charles Alderton, a local pharmacist.

Alderton spent most of his time mixing up medicine for the people of Waco, but in his spare time he liked to serve carbonated drinks at the soda fountain [at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store]. He liked the way the drug store smelled, with all of the fruit syrup flavor smells mixing together in the air. He decided to create a drink that tasted like that smell. He kept a journal, and after numerous experiments he finally hit upon a mixture of fruit syrups that he liked.

As the Dr Pepper museum elaborates, the period following "Dr" was dropped in the 1950s, but other than that piece of trivia, much about the brand's etymology remains unclear. Currently, the museum has more than a dozen different theories relating to how the drink got the name "Dr Pepper."

Interestingly, the folks at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store during Alderton's era took to calling the drink a "Waco." We can't help but feel bummed that the beverage didn't keep the name honoring its Texas birthplace when it catapulted into the mainstream.

Now that we know some of the interesting history behind Dr Pepper, we wonder if Waco residents Chip and Joanna Gaines have ever considered launching their own carbonated beverage line. Perhaps Magnolia Market can open an old fashioned soda fountain with Chip-'n'-Jo-la, Fizzer Upper, Gaines-er Ale on tap.