Who knew Arizona had not one, but two, Tombstone-themed soft drinks? In 1991, Safford-based Susan Decker and her two brothers, owners of Pepsi-affiliated Southeastern Bottling Company of Arizona, were itching to come up with a competitor to Dr. Pepper. They settled on a formula with a taste somewhere between Dr. Pepper and cherry-flavored cola and christened it Doc Holiday (dropping an “l” from the last name to avoid stepping on the 19th-century dentist-turned-gunman’s trademark).
The only place in the Valley to get a Doc Holiday ($3.50 per can) is at the Café at MIM. Every month, Chef Edward Farrow drives to Globe and hauls a few cases of Doc Holiday back to the Musical Instrument Museum.
The story behind Johnny One Dog Tombstone Sarsaparilla is a bit more colorful. When the economy tanked a few years ago, John Fields’ Mesa-based RV business followed suit. Fields packed his belongings in his last remaining fifth wheel and headed to Tombstone with his little dog. The townsfolk dubbed Fields “Johnny One Dog,” because with nothing else to do, he walked his dog up and down the street. He noticed that the town did a brisk business in sarsaparilla. So he developed his own formula, found a microbrewer in the sarsaparilla-hotbed of Kansas, and designed a collectible souvenir four-pack emblazoned with the mugs of Doc Holliday and the Earps.
To get it, you’ll have to trek to Tombstone, or call Johnny himself ($9.30 per case plus shipping).
Southeastern Bottling Company, 928-428-2192
Café at the Mim, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480-478-6000
Johnny One Dog Sarsaparilla