How To Make Cola Syrup

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Coca Cola have always kept the recipe for their legendary drink under lock and key. Nobody to this day has accurately replicated the wonderful flavours that are in store bought coca cola. Over the years however it has become slightly boring to me and I've always wondered if it's possible to make something similar at home.

I am a big fan of Botanical drinks and Fentimans in the UK make a wonderful botanical cola. Basically Coca Cola the company now use almost entirely chemical formulas and dried powers to make their legendary beverage but it is also possible to create a replica using actual fruits, sugars and spices.

This instructable will show you how to make a Cola syrup using ingredients that are easily available in most stores and using techniques that won't baffle even the most laymen's of cooks.

It's a greatly satisfying venture and I can guarantee you will be proud of the result. I invited friends over to sample the cola one summers afternoon and I can assure it went down a treat.

This instructable has been adapted from Brooklyn Pharmacy & Soda Fountain Brooklyn.
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Step 1: Gather Ingredients & Utensils

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Okay so the ingredients for this are not what you'd expect to go into Cola. A couple of the ingredients are harder to source than the rest, but mostly you can get hold of them easily.

Grated zest - 2 Medium Oranges

Grated zest - 1 Large Lime

Grated zest - 1 Large Lemon

1/8tsp - Ground Cinnamon

1/8tsp - Ground Nutmeg (preferably fresh)

1 section of a star anise pod, crushed

1/2tsp - Dried Lavender Flowers

2tsp - Preferably fresh Minced Ginger (I used jarred stem ginger and chopped it finely)

One-and-a-half inch piece of Vanilla bean, spilt

1/4tsp - Citric Acid

2 cups + 2tbsp - Plain Sugar

1tbsp - Brown or Demerara Sugar

Options 3/4tsp - caramel colouring

The citric acid can be bought at most health food stores or the homebrew section of some supermarkets. I got mine from Tesco in the home wine making isle. Dedicated homebrew shops will almost certainly sell this also.

The Dried lavender I sourced from my garden. I happen to have some lavender growing in my back garden. So I simply picked some of the flowers and dried them in my fan oven at 100•c. I left the door open slightly as to avoid burning them. I kept checking to check when they had dried and then took them out and jarred them in an old empty spice jar. If you don't have lavender growing in your garden you can source this from health food stores and other similar shops. I haven't tried this recipe without the lavender but if you fail at finding this I'm sure the syrup will still taste delicious.

I didn't use the food colouring. I'm a big fan of no artificial colouring foods and drinks so opted to leave this out. It does give the cola a good dark caramel colour if you so desire, as without this the recipe makes for a very pale orange coloured cola.

Utensils needed

Zester or fine grater

Tsp and tbsp measurements

Heavy based pan

Large bowl


Muslin or cheesecloth
I tried it. soooo delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
god1066 (author)  get a life143 months ago
I'm glad you liked it ! :)
gina.baldock6 months ago

Well, I made this for my cola addicted husband as I have wanted a healthier option for him for ages. This recipe is spot on and really delicious. To me it tastes like cola bottle fizzy juice! Just awesome, thank you for posting.

god1066 (author)  gina.baldock3 months ago
I'm glad you liked it :) thanks for the comment. Much appreciated.
MrFuzzy1 year ago
Where is your marvellous Tesco that stocks booze making supplies? Mine is nowhere near as good.
god1066 (author)  MrFuzzy11 months ago

Hey sorry for the insanely late response. The Tesco is in Hull :)

NetWt4Lbs1 year ago
Hmmmmm...I almost wonder if you could get some of the deeper color and flavor from a dollop of molasses...
This sounds like a very interesting recipe to try, thanks for posting!! :-)
ffcabral1 year ago

This is very interesting because it's basically all natural, and I believe the most harmful stuff in there is all the white sugar (that's inevitable, I guess). So it's a good alternative to store-bought stuff that's full of chemicals when we're craving some soda. I'm gonna try it!

BayRatt1 year ago
What fun! I will have to give this a try sometime!
stoeff1 year ago
I made some today. Nice :)
Though I left out lavender and lime peel but added a dried fig instead... It still tastes like cola in a way.
Thank you for the inspiration!
god1066 (author)  stoeff1 year ago
Great stuff. I haven't tried the recipe without the lavender or lime peel so i would be interested to see how that turned out. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It does indeed taste of Cola, just not in the way you would expect. Its just got flavors that make sense when you think of Cola. Nonetheless it makes a nice drink either way.