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Hold on to your Bottlecaps…American Secret Revealed!

February 18th, 2011

NPR’s radio show “This American Life,” after some stealth research, has reportedly uncovered the mystery of the original Coke recipe. They believe that they found the recipe reprinted in a newspaper article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published in 1979. The original recipe was first concocted by the pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 and was discovered in his best friend’s pharmaceutical notebook along with other not so delicious recipes for things like cough syrup…bleh. I’ll take the coke please. The original recipe was referred to simply as “Merchandise 7X” …the name sounds a little like a recipe from a Cold War spy movie or maybe like a giant hulk sized energy drink.

I am sure Coca Cola has made its own adjustments over the years and that Coke Zero and all the versions of coke…bottle, canned, diet, cherry etc probably don’t taste like the original soda pop but we’ll leave that to you to decide which you like better.
The recipe:

Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

Homemade soda pop is super delicious and an excellent way to impress friends and family. Chef Matthew uses the iSi Soda Siphon which uses CO2 chargers. Your own personal twist on coca cola or root beer would be a fun addition to a 50s theme event or a retro drink party. The possibilities are endless! If you want to be citrus seasonal you could try our private chef Matthew’s recipe for Blood Orange soda! He adds strained juice from blood oranges to the soda pop base he makes from infusing water with CO2 and sweetens it a tad with cane syrup or agave nectar. It would be a refreshing drink for a Sunday brunch, a wedding shower, a b-day dinner party or a casual lunch with friends. Chef Matthew says,” put some in a glass with ice, then top with soda and stir. ¬†When I’m feeling extra special, I might muddle some mint and basil into the sweetened juice. ¬†There’s no exact ratio, all measurements are done to taste.” More and more friends of Big City Chefs are getting creative with their drink menus. Drinks are integral to any meal but try supplementing your typical wine and cocktail menu with a signature bubbly.

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