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I have recently gotten into making my own soft drinks, and I would like to attempt making a cola. I found an online spice retailer that sells Kola Nut and bought some, but I have no real idea how to prepare them for use. I also don't know how much I should use for a liter or two of soda, but I can figure that out via experimentation if I have to.

But what should I do with the kola nuts? Do they need to be ground before I boil them in a simple syrup, or should the pieces just be dropped in as-is? How much time does it take to extract the flavor from them?

Edit: I have made my own ginger ale using fresh ginger and my own berry soda using a bag of frozen berries, and I am a homebrewer and have a kegging system and a carbonator cap for soda bottles. I really just want to know if there are special considerations for how to treat kola nuts.

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are several cola recipes on this site. Recipe 2.6 references a kola extract recipe from the following book: Food Flavourings, by Joseph Merory, AVI Publishing Company, 1960.

I'd assume that the kola nuts are added as in pieces, similar to how they are consumed - Kola nuts are consumed by breaking them open and into pieces.

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Here is a video with instructions. The principle is pretty simple, make an extract from the nuts and mix with water & sugar to taste and carbonate either with CO2 (for a soda) or by fermenting yeast (for a beer or ale).

[Edit] If you treat the kola nuts the same as you would ginger root in order to create your extract you will get where you want to be. A little trial-and-error may be required do discern the preferred concentration.

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Right, but what's the best way to make the kola nut extract? That video seems to assume you've already got the extract. –  baka Aug 30 '11 at 1:56
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simple extraction, Grate or coarsely Grind Kola Nuts, Place in alcohol overnight strain and discard the nuts. and you should have a crude extract. it is likely to have a strong Musky flavour and should be used in trace amounts.

There are more complicated methods of extracting Ie caffeine Extraction.

Have fun.

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