Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cola Syrup Recipe with Kola Nut

A year ago, the New York Times published this recipe for cola syrup.

I won't bother posting an illustrated step-by-step recipe since this blog already did a much better job of that than I could.

I've made a couple of batches attempting to add kola nut to the recipe.  The kola nut that I get (from this source) is hard as a rock, and boiling for 20 minutes wasn't sufficient to extract much.  So I start simmering the kola (2 Tablespoons) in 3 1/4 Cups water for 20 minutes, than I add the rest of the ingredients:

zest of 2 Oranges
zest of 1 Lemon
zest of 1 Lime
2 tsp Fresh Ginger
1 inch Vanilla Bean (split)
1/2 tsp Lavender
1/2 tsp Citric Acid
1/8 tsp Star Anise (one point)
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cinnamon

and simmer for 20 minutes more.  The resulting tea is difficult to strain; after straining the big stuff out, the rest won't go through a coffee filter.  The best I could do was let the particulates settle in the fridge overnight and gently decant all but the settled out bit the next day.

Next, I returned the tea to the stove to add the sugar.  For each cup of tea, I added 1 1/2 oz. of brown sugar, and 10 1/2 oz. of white sugar (i.e.  I put 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar in a measuring cup, and fill to the 1 1/2 cup line with white sugar).

At this stage, the recipe also calls for caramel color, but I was unable to find any of that.  This step is optional and can be skipped, but I still decided to color it with regular food coloring (4 drops of black, 8 drops red, 12 drops yellow) which worked just fine.

Taste Test

I made a Rum and Coke with 3 Tablespoons rum, 3 Tablespoons cola syrup and filled the rest of the glass with soda water.

If I had ordered a rum and coke at a bar and they served me this, I would be convinced that the bartender used spiced rum, and accidentally started pouring ginger ale in it before noticing their mistake and switching to cola.  It's a tasty beverage, but nobody would confuse it for a typical rum and coke.


Chris Bogart said...

The Kola nut picture looks like peanut brittle or sandstone. Is it chunks of nut pieces, or are they just funny shaped?

akrizman said...

Judging by the pictures of kola nuts on Google images. I'm guessing that they must be pieces of bigger nuts.