'cola' on Serious Eats

Revamping Rum and Coke With Kola Nuts at Betony, NYC

Not long ago, Betony got in an order of fresh kola nuts, which, to be exact, isn't a nut at all; it's a podded fruit borne of the kola tree, an evergreen plant found in the tropics of Africa. Kola nuts have long been prized thanks to their natural caffeine content, and the earliest cola-style soft drinks included kola nut as a main ingredient. More

Thums Up for Indian Cola

Rather than go head to head with the marketing machines of the big boys, the Parle group sold Thums Up to Coca-Cola in 1990. The labels of the two colas might seem similar, but Coca-Cola Classic and Thums Up do actually have quite distinct flavor profiles. More

What To Do With a 17-Year-Old Can of Pepsi Kona? Drink It.

The Summer of 1996 was a good time for me. The Sony Playstation and the X Games were still novelties, Beck's Odelay was on the boom box, Beavis and Butthead were about to Do America, and Pepsi test-released a coffee/cola hybrid called Pepsi Kona in my region. Granted, I wasn't an avid coffee drinker back then, but any kind of new soda was an exciting prospect to me. More

Snapshots from Hong Kong: Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon

Boiled Coke with ginger and lemon started off as a popular cold remedy in Hong Kong, but now it's a popular anytime drink that's found at pretty much all Hong Kong diners. As a first-time, not sick drinker, I found it surprisingly pleasant. The cold and fizzy are gone, but you're left with sweet, spicy, a little tart, a smidge medicinal—all things that would feel restorative on a cold day or in a stream of warmth going down a sore throat. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Your Own Cherry Cola

Cherry cola is amazing. Cherry Coke, on the other hand, is a disgusting tease. For a split second there's some cherry flavor, but then it's replaced by a chemical finish that reminds you that no cherries were harmed while making that beverage. I've done some experimenting with adding cherry syrup to store-bought cola, which was good. But making my own cola and cherrying it up was even better. More

Have You Tried Red Rock Cola?

A cola is a cola is a cola, most of the time. The "cola" flavor—sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, acid, a little citrus—is so deeply impressed on the American palate that we hardly recognize it for its parts anymore. Last week in Tennessee, though, I tried a soda that broadened my sense of what a cola can be. More

We Try Q Kola, From the Makers of Q Tonic

It's funny how, when a product is widespread enough, it seems to taste only like itself. Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, for instance? The orange goo isn't particularly cheeselike; it just tastes like blue-box mac. Coca-Cola doesn't really show the distinct spicy, citric, vanillla notes that cola originally had. So what about something a little closer to the original intent? That's how Q Kola, the makers of Q Tonic, are marketing their new soda. More

Drink the Book: Natural Cola

With its herbal citrus notes, this Natural Cola is far more nuanced and delicate than today's Coke, and it lacks that certain tooth-aching sugariness. Its complexity is almost amaro-like—dark and filled with rich, sweet aromatics, a more grown up take on a cola. More

Tulsa Man May Have Found Early Version of Dr Pepper Recipe at Texas Antiques Store

Photograph from longhorndave on Flickr Bill Waters, a Tulsa man tooling around in a Texas Panhandle antiques store, discovered a very interesting Dr Pepper artifact in a ledger book he found and bought there: The recipe written in cursive in the ledger book is hard to make out, but ingredients seem to include mandrake root, sweet flag root, and syrup.It isn't a recipe for a soft drink, says Greg Artkop, a spokesman for the Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group. He said it's likely instead a recipe for a bitter digestive that bears the Dr Pepper name.He said the recipe certainly bears no resemblance to any Dr Pepper recipes the company knows of. The drink's 23-flavor blend is a closely... More

Soda vs. Pop vs. Whatever: What Do You Call Cola Drinks?

This pop vs. soda map is circulating again. It's from waaaaaay back, but, funny enough, we've never blogged about it on Serious Eats. Probably because it was way old even when we launched in late 2006. Do you call that brown-sugar-water stuff soda or pop? Or something else entirely? When I was a kid, I remember an older gent at my church urging us youngsters to go get some "fizzler" while there was still some left. Never heard that one before or since. Oh well. [via Food Mayhem]... More

Jones Soda Launches Campaign Cola

Jones Soda loves holidays and seasonal hoopla, as proven by its Candy Corn flavor during Halloween and (questionably delicious) Wild Herb Stuffing one in November. So it's no huge surprise that it launched Campaign Cola 2008, where three limited-edition colas honor each presidential pursuer. To vote, just click on your candidate's cola: Obama's Yes We Can, McCain's Pure McCain or Clinton's Capitol Hillary. (Though she may not be in the presidential race, she's still in the bottle race!) The polls as of this morning: Obama = 2,694 bottles McCain = 1,170 bottles Clinton = 996 bottles Jones Soda adds an educational layer to this marketing approach by linking to voter registration info and important quotes from each candidate, encouraging... More

Beer Cola-Can Chicken

I was discussing Memorial Day eats on the ride home with my coworker and mentioned the possibility of smoking some beer-can chicken this weekend. This utterance caused my workmate to drop his jaw, take his eyes off the road to stare directly at me and exclaim with puzzled excitement, "What the hell is that?!?!" More

Red Bull and Cola Sitting in a Tree

That svelte Red Bull can won't just contain fluorescent yellow stuff anymore—it could have brown liquid in there too! The brand is launching a "strong and natural" cola alternative with crazy ingredients like mustard seeds, ginger, cloves, licorice, orange and cardamom. Following suit of Pepsi Raw and Retro, this could be part of a growing "healthier" pop trend. Maybe I want phosphoric acid in my cola, okay, Red Bull?... More

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