There's something undeniably satisfying about enjoying a fizzy, ice-cold cola on a hot day. While the market is flooded with commercial cola brands, there's a unique charm in concocting your own cola at home. Not only does it allow you to customize the flavor to your liking, but it also provides an opportunity to embrace sustainability by bottling your cola in reusable glass bottles. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of making your own cola and sealing it in classic glass bottles.
To create your homemade cola, you'll need the following ingredients:
For the cola syrup:
1. 2 cups of water
2. 1 cup of granulated sugar
3. 1 cup of brown sugar
4. 2 tablespoons of citrus zest (a combination of lemon and orange)
5. 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
6. 2 tablespoons of nutmeg
7. 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
8. 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
9. 1 tablespoon of dried lavender (optional for a unique twist)
10. 1 tablespoon of caramel extract
11. 1 tablespoon of cola nut extract (available online or at specialty stores)
12. 1 tablespoon of citric acid (for tartness)
1. Soda siphon or soda maker
2. CO2 cartridges or refillable CO2 tank
3. Soda charger (if using a soda siphon)
1. Glass cola bottles with crown caps
2. Bottle capper
3. Crown caps
4. Bottle brush
6. Boiling water for sterilization
1. Prepare the Cola Syrup:
a. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the water, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
b. Add in the citrus zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seeds, dried lavender (if using), and vanilla extract.
c. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
d. Once it simmers, reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes until it thickens slightly.
e. Remove from heat and stir in the caramel extract, cola nut extract, and citric acid.
f. Allow the syrup to cool completely.
2. Carbonate the Cola:
a. If using a soda siphon, fill it with cold water and attach a CO2 cartridge or connect to a refillable CO2 tank.
b. Charge the siphon according to the manufacturer's instructions, typically with 2-3 CO2 cartridges.
c. Gently swirl the cola syrup to mix it, then add it to the soda siphon.
d. Seal the siphon and shake it gently to carbonate the mixture.
3. Bottle the Cola:
a. Thoroughly clean and sterilize the glass cola bottles and crown caps using boiling water.
b. Allow them to air dry completely.
c. Use a funnel to pour the carbonated cola syrup into the glass bottles, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion.
d. Seal the bottles with crown caps using a bottle capper.
4. Store and Enjoy:
a. Store the bottled cola in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
b. Refrigerate the cola to keep it cold.
c. Serve your homemade cola over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.
Crafting your own cola and bottling it in glass bottles is a rewarding experience that allows you to tailor the flavor to your preferences while reducing waste associated with single-use plastic bottles. Remember to experiment with the ingredients to create your signature cola recipe. With the right equipment and a bit of patience, you can enjoy the delightful taste of your homemade cola whenever you desire. Cheers to your DIY cola adventure!