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June 3, 2017
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June 18, 2017

I Made OpenCola: A Slightly Updated Recipe


So for a slight change of pace here I’ll just go ahead and post a cola recipe.

I decided to make my own cola because I’m a big fan of the drink, but want to avoid both phosphoric acid and caffeine. I noticed that cola with phosphoric acid has a bad effect on me: a slight discomfort in my stomach and a feeling of lowered mood, and I’ve suspected it has contributed to actual stomach pains when I’ve drunk it every day. I also dislike the effect of caffeine, using it only in rare situations when I need to fight sleep deprivation; in other situations it makes me a bit more nervous and I feel it narrows my consciousness in an unpleasant way, making it harder to meditate and weakening those things meditation facilitates, such as intuition and compassion.

In future I’d like to experiment with making this cola “kinda healthy” by using juice as a base, but for now removing the two worst ingredients is a great start for me. White sugar is, of course, not optimal, but I think it’s okay in moderation.

OpenCola Recipe

This recipe is adapated and streamlined from a recipe called “OpenCola” which is going around. You can google it for more information. The recipe is based on the suspected ingredients of CocaCola, which is flavoured with essential oils. Essential oils are the incredibly concentrated scent and flavour components of plants. You CANNOT consume essential oils in their pure state. This recipe uses food-grade gum arabic to allow the oils to combine with water. Even then, you’ll see that we’re using remarkably small amounts of oil to produce a huge amount of flavour. Look for pure essential oils which haven’t been adulterated with anything. I found them on a local webshop.

The original OpenCola recipe produces far too much cola unless you’re a heavy cola drinker. I wanted to be able to experiment without making 50 litres each time, so I divided the essential oil ingredients by ten, multiplied them by 0.9 to get their approximate weight instead of volume, and used a milligram scale to measure them (a milligram scale can be found on amazon for like 20€). They must be measured out using a pipette. Those ingredients which are needed in the tiniest quantities are only about two drops from the pippette. Getting it to be really exact like this is impossible, but I did my best and it worked out.

Note that essential oils irritate the skin, so either wear gloves or just be ready to wash well with soap if you get some on you.

As others have noted, Neroli oil is about ten times more expensive than the other ingredients, but if you can find it in a small enough quantity (I bought a single millilitre) it’s not what you’d call expensive on an absolute scale: you just need two drops. If necessary, though, it can be left out.

You will need:

  • 0.315g orange oil
  • 0.2475 g lime oil
  • 0.1125 g cassia (cinnamon) oil
  • 0.09g lemon oil
  • 0.09g nutmeg oil
  • 0.0225 g coriander oil
  • 0.0225 g neroli oil
  • 0.0225 g lavender oil

Plus:

  • 1 g Food Grade Gum Arabic (important: do NOT use art grade gum arabic – it will make you vomit).
  • 450ml water
  • 450g sugar
  • 4ml / 6.5g citric acid

Put 200ml water, the gum arabic, and the oils into a blender and blend until the gum arabic is really incorporated. (The original recipe suggested what would be 0.3ml water for this amount. Unless I’m missing something, this is a mistake; it produces what looks like a piece of chewing gum sitting in oil, and would definitely not blend in a blender).

Now add 450g sugar, another 250ml water, and 4ml citric acid. Optionally you can add 6ml caramel colour and possibly caffeine. If you want to add caffeine, the original recipe suggests what would be 0.5ml / 0.615g for this quantity. Be careful with this drug as an overdose can be fatal.

Blend till the sugar is incorporated. Now you have a syrup you can mix 1:5 with carbonated water to make an excellent cola drink.

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