Homemade Soda: Curiosity Cola Recipe

Try this Curiosity Cola recipe; we dare you to go back to your old, carbonated brand.

| August 2012

  • A variety of edible essential oils, including cinnamon, contribute to the complex flavors in this Curiosity Cola recipe.
    Photo By Fotolia/hitdelight
  • Experience the fizzy excitement of “Homemade Soda,” a cookbook with 200 recipes that bring soda to the home kitchen; it’s perfect for adventurous home cooks, home brewers who want to expand their repertoire, DIYers and parents looking to have more control over their family’s sugar consumption.
    Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing

This cola recipe should be in a file folder with the words “Top Secret” stamped across the front. It may have been Coca-Cola’s original formula long ago, before the beloved beverage was compromised by unnatural ingredients. This Curiosity Cola blends a varying collection of natural ingredients including edible essential oils; your taste buds will revel in the complexity of flavors. This Curiosity Cola recipe is excerpted from Homemade Soda (Storey Publishing, 2011) by Andrew Schloss, a comprehensive guide filled with recipes such as Anise Licorice Root Beer and Ginseng Soda. 

Curiosity Cola Recipe

Why anyone other than a rival soda manufacturer would want the secret formula for a product as readily available and affordable as Coca-Cola is beyond me, but if trying to duplicate Coke sounds like a fun challenge, try this recipe. It is my rendition of a formula that has been floating around on the Internet for years. Reputedly it is the secret formula for Coke, but I don’t think so (it sure doesn’t taste like Coke). My efforts have yielded something that most of my friends find delicious. Some find it a bit fruity, others a little too bitter, but most appreciate the balance.

Cola Syrup Recipe
Enough for 5 quarts brewed cola

• 10 grams citric acid
• 1 gram lemon edible essential oil
• 1 gram orange edible essential oil
• 0.5 gram bergamot edible essential oil or neroli edible essential oil
• 0.5  gram cinnamon edible essential oil
• 0.5 gram lime edible essential oil
• 0.2 gram coriander edible essential oil
• 0.1 gram nutmeg edible essential oil
• 0.5  gram gum arabic
• 1 quart boiling water
• 2 pounds sugar
• 1/4 cup (72 g) browning sauce, such as Kitchen Bouquet
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Combine the citric acid, lemon oil, orange oil, bergamot oil, cinnamon oil, lime oil, coriander oil, nutmeg oil, and gum arabic in a large heat-proof bowl, and stir to blend. Add the boiling water and mix well with a small whisk. Add the sugar, whisking until it dissolves. Stir in the browning sauce and vanilla and let cool.

2. This Cola Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.



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