Much has been made over the years of the ‘secret formulas,’ closely guarded by Coca Cola and Pepsi, that give their respective cola drinks a distinctive taste. With the advent of the Wiki phenomenon everything, including these ‘secrets’ have come under attack. Smart people have figured out how to duplicate almost everything in a do-it-yourself fashion and have added to and improved these ‘open’ recipes. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few disgruntled Coke or Pepsi employees were even in on the act since it’s anonymous. Anyone can refine the recipe.
Here is a recipe for OpenCola, a cola you can make yourself that supposedly tastes like a Coca Cola.
Take a look at the ingredients:
All ingredients listed are in metric units.
- 3.50 ml orange oil
- 1.00 ml lemon oil
- 1.00 ml nutmeg oil
- 1.25 ml cassia oil
- 0.25 ml coriander oil
- 0.25 ml neroli oil
- 2.75 ml lime oil
- 0.25 ml lavender oil
- 10.0 g gum arabic
- 3.00 ml water
- 2.00 tsp (10 ml) flavoring
- 3.50 tsp (17.5 ml) 75% phosphoric acid or citric acid
- 2.28 l water
- 2.36 kg granulated white sugar
- 0.50 tsp (2.5 ml) caffeine (optional. use caution)
- 30.0 ml caramel color
Take note of the amount of sugar required. If you convert from metric units it calculates out that you use a little over a 5 lb bag of sugar to mix into a little over 2 quarts of water.
Granted, when all this is put together it makes not the actual soft drink, but the syrup used to mix with the carbonated water to make the full drink. But if you read the full recipe, you’ll see that you mix one part syrup with five part carbonated water. Which means that the total volume of OpenCola made with this recipe ends up being about equivalent to six 6-packs of soft drink.
Which also means that when you down fully sweetened soft drinks, you down a lot of sugar. Having brought up three boys, all of whom had friends swarming all over the house at all times, I can tell you that teenagers can go through a lot of soft drinks. I’ve always known intellectually that soft drinks contain a lot of sugar, but for some reason, it took going through this recipe to really imprint on me just how much sugar they do contain. And in the case of commercially-made soft drinks, it’s high-fructose corn syrup, which is even worse.
To paraphrase Willie Nelson, Mamma, don’t let your babies grow up to be Coke drinkers.
(Hat tip: Boingboing.net)