The idea of making homemade soda from scratch sounds like fun, but it still requires a lot of attention to details. This is especially true when making the base flavour concentrate because 21 ml (2/3 of an ounce) of flavouring oils will end up making about 120L (30 gallons) of soda-pop! If you are okay with being accurate, then you’ll find that homemade soda formulations are an awesome way to be creative. I’ve also created a snazzy infographic to guide you through the process.
This is part two of a series on how to make homemade soda. If you’ve stumbled upon this post, feel free to review Part I: Coke’s Ingredients to get the background information on this project.
Oddly, making soda syrup requires a lot of math. Luckily I’ve done most of the volumetric calculations for you, and with this basic recipe, you should be able to make any flavour of homemade soda concentrate.
To get started, you will need to acquire some essential oils. The Internet is full of sources for the common oils, and my only recommendation is to ensure that they are food grade oils.
Secondly, you will need gum arabic, caffeine powder, Acid Phosphate and caramel colour. The caffeine and caramel colour are optional, but if you want your cola to look like cola then pick some up. You can also make something similar, using this recipe for caramel syrup. Just allow the sugar to turn a dark colour and remember that sugar at this temperature goes exothermic, so you will need to stop the process. I add water extremely cautiously!
Finally, you will need some tools. An immersion blender is extremely useful for emulsifying the oils. A variety of syringes will speed up the measuring process of the oils. If you can get them, a 1 ml, 5 ml, 10 ml and 20 ml volumes will do. If you can’t get syringes due to local laws, find an accurate measure or graduated cylinder. A ¼ teaspoon measure is equivalent to approximately 1 ml.
Homemade Cola Recipe
Can you substitute citric acid? Yes, you can, but it will change the flavour. Simply dissolve two tablespoons of citric acid in the 100 ml of water in Step 3. Alternatively, you can add freshly squeezed lime juice to the soda instead of Acid Phosphate.
In Part III, I’ll demonstrate how to adjust the base recipe with essential oils to change the flavour and allow for easier reformulation. Also, many of the questions you may have about soda formulation are answered in the book Fix the Pumps. Buy a copy and be enlightened.
30 ml is approximately 1 ounce
Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.
Last modified: November 11, 2018