By mixing liquid cinnamin extract, orange Extract (aka orange oil), Vanilla (artificial or natural), sugar, and citric acid - you can make a coke flavoring.
The trick is to forget about what you thought coke was made of. Orange, in coke? How can it be? When these flavors are mixed it gives spicy brown cola taste. Want to make it taste more like coke? Cook the sugar first and caramel it - then dissolve it.
I set out to find the recipe for coke because I was doing some home soda making one day (with yeast) and wanted a coke flavor. I'm not a fan of store bought soda's since they are so non-nutritous - so now the question is, can real orange juice be substituted for the orange flavoring and citric acid. If someone can make a healthy coke, made with orange juice, cinnamon, and vanilla bean extract.. it would be a good market. Those interested in health would purchase it since it contains real orange juice.
Want to try something else neat, that you probably didn't think would work? Try mixing a bit of vanilla in with orange juice.. and add a bit of sugar. Tastes like an orange cream soda. Who would have thought that orange went with vanilla?
Since Coca Cola adds a bit of the Kola nut to their drink, and this isn't available for purchase at many stores - you may find your flavor experiments end up coming close but not exactly like Cola. Caffeine is also a bit bitter which adds to the cola flavor. Another addition may be Nutmeg - cooking nutmeg slightly and then straining it. Cloves are another possibility. I have not tried the nutmeg or cloves yet.
Other things to try: Dr. Pepper - anise makes it taste like medicine. Anise is available in many supermarkets as a flavor. Almond extract is also essential - mix it with anise, citric acid, and vanilla. Vanilla seems to offer the cream taste that many soda's have which makes them a bit addictive (smooth on the tongue). Anise leaves a cool after taste on the tongue. Dr. Pepper seems to have just enough anise in it to not leave much of a cool effect on the tongue.
Swiff the flavors with your nose - get a real good swiff and go into analytical/critical smelling mode. It takes your nose, a few eye droppers, sugar, and water. You can make a cola flavor in only a few minutes if you are patient and you have enough eye droppers. I thought it would take me days to get a coke taste - I happened upon it in only a few minutes by reading the internet for a while and quickly realizing it was cinnamon that was that spicy smell which comes from coke - something I never realized before.
The real goal of my Coke/Coca Cola study was to invent my own natural coke with Orange juice - I will update this page when I am able to get a soda made with real orange juice that tastes cola-ish. If it doesn't end up tasting cola-ish and it still tastes good, then I will call it something else and still go through with it. As long as it tastes good and it is something new - it could be a good discovery for the future.
Important points to remember:
- Vanilla seems to be one of the key ingredients that I never really thought was a key ingredient in sodas
- just because you don't think that cokes/colas taste like orange.. doesn't mean it doesn't have orange flavor in it
- cinnamon seems to be the key ingredient in the drinks that have bite, such as colas, pepsi - even if cola doesn't taste like cinnamon, don't assume that it isn't cinnamin that is giving it the bight
- don't assume!
- don't make assumptions!
- the most important point to repeat is - assume nothing! Cinnamon and vanilla togeter? How can that taste good? Don't assume..
- does ginger ale have vanilla in it? I don't know...
- lemon oil/lemon flavor? Obviously sprite/7up/mellow yellow have dominant lemon, but what about cola? Probably a bit more on the lime side, but don't assume!