PHD Pickles, Simmered in Dr. Pepper

PHD Pickles, Simmered in Dr. Pepper
Dr. Pepper Pickles in a StickWe’ve all met him. That guy at the end of the bar who just gets wiser and wiser with each drink, until he is convinced that everyone else is convinced he has a PHD.

Recipes are a funny thing. They can be very sophisticated, very simple, very reminiscent, even very strange. We serve certain foods for a family gathering, and others for a fancy fundraiser. There are paper bag lunches and business lunches. There are preschool snacks, but then, in a category all it’s own there are bar snacks. We’re not talking Pub Food or Tapas here. B-A-R Bar food. Peanuts and cracker blends, or popcorn. Greasy anything. Fried anything. Anything with cheese. They are not sophisticated, they are not good for you, but we absolutely eat them up! (Or we did when we were young-bar-attending-whipper-snappers. Never, right? *wink wink*)

This recipe is one of those ridiculously good, stupidly simple, terribly unintelligent little gems. I’ve never seen it in a bar before, but I know it’s just the right thing. Perhaps try serving it at your next BBQ or Game Day event. Let me know how it goes over!

As a side note: How many knock-off brands of Dr. Pepper can you name? I was AMAZED to discover this ever lengthening list:

[expand title=”Click HERE to see the entire list. You’ll probably be surprised!
What are your favorites?” swaptitle=”Hide List” elwrapclass=”colomat-class”]

0. Dr PEPPER – The Original
1. Dr. Riffic
2. Dr. K
3. Dr. Smooth
4. Dr. Wells
5. Dr. Becker
6. Dr. Perfect (Canadian and US versions)
7. Dr. Thirst
8. Dr. Chek
9. Dr. A+
10. Dr. Slice
11. Dr. Perky
12. Dr. Starr
13. Dr. Rocket
14. Dr. Thunder
15. Dr. Joe’s
16. Dr. B
17. Dr. Topper
18. Dr. Pop
19. Dr. Radical
20. Dr. Shaw
21. Dr. Up!
22. Dr. Skipper
23. Dr. Cheer
24. Dr. Lynn
25. Dr. Publix
26. Doctor Whatever
27. Dr. Zeppa
28. Dr. Polar
29. Dr. Rush
30. Dr. S
31. Dr. Sparkle
32. Dr. WOW
33. Dr. W
34. Dr. Tops
35. Dr. Right
36. Country Doctor
37. Dr. IGA
38. Doctor
39. Dr. Choice
40. Dr. Urge
41. Dr. M
42. Dr. Wild
43. Dr. Best
44. Dr. Extreme
45. Dr Parker
46. Dr. Shasta
47. Dr Fizz
48. Dr Weis
49. Dr Path
50. Dr Bold
51. Dr. HyTop
52. Dr. Celeste
53. Real Dr.
54. Dr. WHAM
55. Dr. Fine
56. Dr. Enuf (More like Mountain Dew)
57. Mr. Pibb
58. Mr. Ahhh
59. Texas Fizz


PHD Pickles

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 6-12 snacks


  • 12 oz pickle spears (approximately 5-6 spears); sliced into 1/2 inch segments
  • 2 cups Dr. Pepper*

*NOTE: You can add half a cup more of Dr. Pepper for particularly sweet treats, but I don’t suggest any more than that or you’ll end up with a thick caramelized syrup. If you go with less Dr. Pepper it doesn’t taste like much more than a sweet pickle.


  1. Add the sliced pickles and Dr. Pepper to a large skillet or wide pot. (You want the extra surface area.)
  2. Allow to come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly until all of the liquid has evaporated. It takes a little while to evaporate that much liquid. You will see the bubbles become larger, then eventually they will disappear all together and your pickles will be ready.
  3. Serve then warm or at room temperature, on a tray accompanied by tooth picks, or arranged beautifully on skewers.

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