Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ginger Ale #3.1

I brought pre-mixed ginger and herbs to North Carolina to whip up a batch of ginger ale while visiting my brother's family. Just had to add water, sugar, and yeast. I used the bread yeast that was on hand, and in a 70-degree kitchen, it was fully bubbly in two and a half days. Also tried bottle caps on some twist-off bottles, and that seems to have worked fine. An easy New Year's treat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kristmas Kola

zest of 1 small lemon
peel of 2 mandarin oranges
1/3 oz piece of cinnamon bark
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 anise star
1/2 tsp kola nut
1/6 oz fresh ginger
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp wintergreen leaves
1/2 tsp citric acid
1 tsp maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 gal water
1/8 tsp ale yeast

Looking up cola recipes, I found a number of pages listing supposed original recipes for Coca-Cola, and modern reverse engineering attempts. Most used alcohol-based extracts, rather than steeped raw ingredients. I had most of the flavorings commonly used in dried or fresh form, so took a stab at something I hoped would be cola like. While it boiled, it filled the apartment with Christmas scents. Finished, it's pretty unusual. I don't think anybody would take a sip and think Coke or Pepsi. It's hard to tell what the flavors are. Nutmeg and orange seem to dominate. Brown sugar adds something unexpected in a soda. It's not unpleasant, but it's pretty weird.