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Now Selling for Five Figures, the Recipe, Perhaps, For a Friendly Pepper-Upper

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Used to be a time when procuring a real Imperial Pure Cane Sugar Dr Pepper meant hoping that case of bottles you ordered from Dublin arrived mostly intact; though, years ago, my old man bought a few cases of the 12-ounce cans from a guy in a parking lot on 183, seedy. Now, of course, they're available most anywhere for dollars on the penny, still worth it. But for $50,000 to $75,000, courtesy Unfair Park across-the-street neighbor Heritage Auction Galleries, you can own what may be the original recipe book from the Waco drug store in which the Holy Beverage invented. It goes up for auction May 13, with the opening bid set around $30,000.

It's still unclear whether "Dr Pepper Pepsin Bitters" is Charles Alderton's immortal concoction or a derivative offspring (if I read my 1880s pharmacy handwriting correctly, this recipe contains alcohol, even better). But, as a bonus, the 360-page book -- which a guy bought in a Panhandle antique store for $200 -- contains recipes for such things as Dr. Wilkes Dead Shot for Tape Worm, Orange-Flower Skin Food, Bust Developer; Castles Hair Restorer and Stephen's Condition Powder. If nothing else, maybe, the foundations for a second career.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.