Cola Syrup
12th September 2012

Cola Syrup

By Lauren Photography by Adam
 

Less sweet and more spiced than commercial cola, there is real depth to the flavour of this syrup – it makes the perfect base for a mocktail. Pour over crushed ice, add a couple of very finely sliced rounds of fresh orange and lemon, and top with soda water (novelty umbrella optional). It is so refreshing, all natural and caffeine-free!

Ingredients

Makes approx 500ml
  • Infusion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise, broken
  • 1/3 whole nutmeg, finely grated
  • 3cm piece ginger, minced
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • Zest 2 oranges
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Zest 1 lime
  • ¼ tsp citric acid
  • 1 tsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups water
  • Caramel
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup water

    Method

    • Infusion:
    • 1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and gently bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    • 2. Remove from heat and strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug. Bundle up the fabric and press to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
    • Caramel:
    • 1. Place sugar in the centre of a small saucepan. Add honey and pour the water around the outside of the sugar.
    • 2. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, gently stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture starts to simmer remove the spoon and don’t stir again. Watch for sugar crystals on the side of the pan and if you see some gently wash them down with a wet pastry brush.
    • 3. Once the caramel is a deep amber colour, remove from heat and add to the infusion liquid from above. Stir to combine, and then pour into a sterilized bottle. Leave to cool before serving.
    • To serve, dilute to taste with soda water.
     

    COMMENTS

    1. Genie

      What a great idea. Cola isn’t one of those thing people think about making at home. What I love about making familiar flavours is having a better understanding of what goes into that flavour. To most people, cola IS a flavour.

    2. Lauren

      Thanks Genie :) I know what you mean – until we had a play with making it, I also only thought of cola as a flavour. Understanding the complexity and subtleties of what makes up the flavour was really interesting!

    3. elizabethranger

      This is brilliant, and so useful for anyone who loves the flavour but not everything else that usually goes with it… I can’t wait to make this or a variant for some party!

    4. Migle

      What a great recipe! I’m not a cola fan at all, but somehow I would like to try this syrup. Where should it be kept? In the refrigerator?

    5. Lauren

      Thanks Migle,
      It is really yummy – do give it a try :) I am keeping mine in the refrigerator.
      Lauren

    6. Lauren

      Thanks Elizabeth,
      Agree – so great to enjoy a natural, caffeine free version of that classic flavour – do let us know how you go making it :)

     

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