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Cocktails, Drinks, Non-Alcoholic, recipes

Cola Syrup

Cola Syrup, Phil Kline for The New York Times

I LOVE homemade syrups.

It reminds me of summer, it reminds me of home, it reminds me of my childhood in communist Bulgaria, when one had to be creative and inventive in order to try something new or try something at all – shops were either empty or sold only one type of suspiciously yellow lemonade.

So, here is a recipe I stumbled upon in the vast internet space and once I buy a sieve or a cheesecloth, I will try it for myself right away!

It looks delicious and I am sure it will taste the same.

One last toast to the summer long gone!

Time: 50 minutes


Grated zest of 2 medium oranges

Grated zest of 1 large lime

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1 section of a star anise pod, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 one-and-a-half-inch piece vanilla bean, split

1/4 teaspoon citric acid (available at health food stores, or canning supply stores or kingarthurflour.com)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon caramel color powder, optional (available at kingarthurflour.com).

1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to a simmer with the zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, lavender, ginger, vanilla and citric acid. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

2. In a food processor, whirl the sugars together for one minute (this will help them dissolve), then transfer to a large bowl. If using caramel color, sprinkle it over the sugar.

3. Line a sieve or colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over the bowl. Pour the contents of the pot through the sieve. Carefully gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist the top to close. Use a spoon to press the bundle against the sieve, squeezing out all the flavorful liquid.

4. Stir the syrup and let cool, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes. Transfer to containers and keep refrigerated. To make a soda, pour 1/4 cup syrup over ice and add 1 cup seltzer. Stir.

Yield: About 3 cups syrup.

Original link appeared on:


Check out this blog if you want to see more pictures for the recipe:


Recipe adapted from the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain.


About Polina Pen

Writer, Photographer and Professional Eater


2 thoughts on “Cola Syrup

  1. Едно време къва лимонада имаше.. Като отпиеш отначало те тряска направо в петите.. Днешната младеж сигурно и от наркотици не ги тряска така както лимонадата на Стил..

    Posted by Vasko | October 4, 2011, 11:47 pm
  2. Nali? Kato otpiesh otnachalo, te udrya v nosa kato boksyor i ti se plache 5 minuti! A puk za vkus da ne govorim! A za bonus ezika ti stava neonovo jult!

    Posted by Polina Pen | October 6, 2011, 11:37 am

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