Stefans perfect cola

Make your own cola? Yes, it can be done. Get your scales out to try Stefan Gates' carefully gauged blend of ingredients
By Stefan Gates
Stefans perfect cola
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes enough syrup for 3 litres cola
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hr cooling
  • Effort: easy


For the syrup

  • 500 ml water
  • 750 g sugar
  • 10 caffeine pills, ground to powder in pestle and mortar (this will give half the amount of caffeine found in a regular cola, )
  • 100 ml lime juice
  • 10 g citric acid
  • 1.5 g vanilla extract
  • 25 g kola nuts, finely crushed
  • 2 lemons, grated zest only

For the flavouring

  • 0.9 g food-grade orange oil
  • 0.45 g food-grade cinnamon oil
  • 0.25 g food-grade coriander oil
  • 0.45 g food-grade nutmeg oil
  • 0.45 g food-grade neroli oil

Tips and Suggestions

Ten caffeine pills may seem like a lot but this is only half the amount of caffeine found in regular cola drinks. Use a pestle and mortar to finely crush both them and the kola nuts.


1. For the syrup: pour the water into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in all the remaining syrup ingredients and set aside.

2. For the flavouring: put all the flavoured oils in a small blender, being careful not to add any more than the recipe states. Add 2 tablespoons of the syrup, or enough to cover the blade of the blender. Blend until the liquids have emulsified.

3. Pour the contents of the blender into the remaining syrup and set aside to cool for 1 hour.

4. Strain the mixture through a clean tea towel or muslin cloth and transfer to a bottle. To serve, add 240ml soda water to 60ml of syrup.

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