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OpenCola, the public cola drink recipe

25 mayo, 2021

OpenCola offers you the recipe to prepare your own cola drink. No secret formulas that only two people know who never travel together; that of this soft drink is public and anyone is free to use and modify it, on the basis that they license its creation as public as well.

Originally, the OpenCola project – a company founded by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow, and John Henson in 2001 – was designed to promote and explain free softwareBut in the end it was more successful on its own, selling more than 150,000 cans. Nowadays it is going for its version 1.1.3, and it is the perfect base to create our own cola.

The process of making cola at home it’s not exactly easy, and I admit that I have not yet ventured to prepare it, but in case any of you are interested in the subject, I have taken care to translate and explain the original recipe.

Open Cola - 2

You will be surprised to know that it has lavender

Basically, it is divided into three steps. First we must prepare what in the list of ingredients of the can comes as aromas, and that is nothing more than a mixture of essential oils –for food of course–. Then we must prepare a concentrate of water and sugar, to which we will add these essential oils, coloring, caffeine (if we want) and citric acid. Finally, we mix that concentrate with carbonated water and that’s it.


For the scent

  • Essential oils: 3.5ml of orange, 1ml of lemon, 1ml of nutmeg, 1ml of cinnamon, 0.25 of coriander, 0.25ml of grapefruit, 0.25ml of lime and 0.25ml of lavender
  • 10g gum arabic for food (thickener)
  • 10ml of water

For the concentrate

  • 10ml of aroma, 17.5ml of 75% citric acid, 2.28l of water, 2.38kg of sugar, 2.5ml of caffeine, 30ml of caramel coloring

How to make homemade cola soda

The dark brown color is given by the caramel coloring, although we can put whatever we want

The first step, as we have said, is gather all the essential oils, add the gum arabic and water and mix well using the blender. The aromatic preparation can be stored in a closed glass container for later use, although the gum arabic may separate over time and we will have to use the blender again.

The next step is prepare the concentrate, although first we must have the 75% citric acid solution ready. To do this we mix water and citric acid powder in a ratio of 1 to 3. To get the 17.5ml of the recipe, we must mix 13g of citric acid with 4.5ml of water, although if we do not want to go with such small measures, we can make more quantity and then reserve it.

For the concentrate, we first mix the aromatic preparation with the citric acid solution. On the other hand, we also mix the water and the sugar (we add the caffeine if we want). Then we gradually pour the aromatic preparation into the sugar water, mixing well, and finally we add the coloring.

Open Cola - 4

Now that we have our concentrate ready, it is only a question add carbonated water -like the siphon- in the right proportion, which is one part of concentrate to five parts of carbonated water, although we can adjust it to our liking.

After this arduous process we already have our homemade cola. It does not seem to be worth much, but it must be taken into account that all the work is not to simply make a can or a bottle, but that the concentrate will allow us to have soda for a long time, even more so knowing the amount of sugar it contains.

Images “, sun sand & sea, gabi_rosca and Alex E. Proimos More information” Cola En Directo to the palate |