Serious Eats: Recipes

DIY Cherry Cola

[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]

If you want a complex natural cola with the flavor of fresh cherries, you may have to do quite a bit of hunting—unless you make your own. It won't taste like Coke or Pepsi, and that's the point. This recipe is inspired by Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain's cola recipe.

Notes: Some grocery stores sell citric acid, but you can also find it at health food stores, canning supply shops, or online. I used a large vanilla bean, about 6 inches long, so if your vanilla bean is very small, use more.
I recommend sampling the cola syrup before adding cherries and almond extract and adjusting to taste if you think you will want a very strong cola flavor—this recipe emphasizes the cherry flavor. Start with 1 part cherry cola syrup and 3 parts seltzer, adding additional seltzer to taste.

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