How do I mix a drink that tastes like Coke?
August 6, 2006 2:34 AM   Subscribe

BoozeFilter: The flavor of cola drinks, like Coke, is "a mixture, or fantasia, of vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus flavorings". Knowing this, what three kinds of alcohol would you combine if you wanted to make a mixed drink that tasted as much like cola as possible?

I could obviously just grab whatever citrus, cinnamon, and vanilla flavored liquor I can find, but I can see a few different pitfalls to avoid: one flavor being too strong or too weak; the ingredients not combining well; some unexpected other flavor appearing too strongly; or (possibly unavoidable) the whole thing combining into one Giant Unstoppable Ball Of Pure Hangover. So, I throw myself on the mercy of the combined alcoholic knowledge of all MetaFilter: what could I use that would have a reasonably high alcohol content, would have relatively similar intensities of flavor, wouldn't clash with each other terribly, and wouldn't make me too sick?
posted by moss to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Why not just mix everclear and cola?
posted by delmoi at 2:40 AM on August 6, 2006

Response by poster: That would be cheating. If it weren't for the perverse amusement value of the whole project, I'd probably just have whiskey.
posted by moss at 2:52 AM on August 6, 2006

I'd go for one part absolute vanilla, one part cinnamon schnapps, and a dash of lime cordial. Top with soda water and a slice of lemon.
posted by twirlypen at 5:20 AM on August 6, 2006

what three kinds of alcohol would you combine if you wanted to make a mixed drink that tasted as much like cola as possible?

Amaretto, rum, and beer.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:26 AM on August 6, 2006

Tangentially related I know, but vanilla vodka and ginger ale tastes just like cream soda. Great summer drink.
posted by Remy at 8:15 AM on August 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Fuzzy Monster is one hundred percent right. Take a shot of amaretto and a shot of rum (or half shots if you must), drop then into a glass of beer (still in the shot glass) and chug it down. Tastes exactly like Mr. Pibb.
posted by cyphill at 8:49 AM on August 6, 2006

I like 2 parts bourbon, 1 part Starbuck's coffee liqueur, over ice, mix with club soda.
posted by cptnrandy at 8:51 AM on August 6, 2006

cyphill writes "Tastes exactly like Mr. Pibb."

Mr. Pibb, however, is not a standard cola. It's a tytola.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:10 AM on August 6, 2006

Fuzzy Monster has it, except it's 3/4 of a shot of Amaretto, then float 151 and set it on fire. Drop it in the beer and chug. It's called a Flaming Doctor Pepper, and we often made it with just the 151...

Of course, Dr. Pepper isn't cola.
posted by muddgirl at 9:41 AM on August 6, 2006

A shot of port and a bottle of Blue WKD tastes exactly like Vimto.
posted by jack_mo at 10:37 AM on August 6, 2006

This article delves fairly extensively into how to make a Coke-a-like. What you might find useful is the proportions of flavors, which then could be translated into alcohol.

Another recipe (I don't think they differ dramatically, but small differences are huge in this process).

That's probably wayyy more information that you were looking for, but like I said, it gives you a hint of how the flavors are proportioned.
posted by anjamu at 10:52 AM on August 6, 2006

Pibb and Pepper actually *do* have a generic name in the business; they're called "Spicy Colas".

And Barq's is *not* a root beer, regardless what Pepsi did to the bottle art when they bought them out.

It's Barq's.
posted by baylink at 12:55 PM on August 6, 2006

Here's your best bet:
caramel - dark rum
vanilla - bourbon

Minor amounts of:
orange oil - triple sec
lime oil - Rose's lime
lemon oil - limoncello
cassia oil - cinnamon schnapps
nutmeg oil: Angostura bitters
Not possible AFAIK:
coriander oil, lavender oil, neroli oil

I have NO idea what proportion you would combine this in.
posted by TungstenChef at 6:58 PM on August 6, 2006

This is an awesome idea; please post the final recipe once you've nailed it down.

I'd recommend spiced rum (e.g. Captain Morgan's) as the base and then use all the flavorings TungstenChef lists above to tweak it until it tastes right. One other note is that there's almost no way it's going to really taste like coke until you overload it with sweetener. Yes, the various schnapps will contribute some sugar, but it won't have that toothache-inducing signature coke bite. I'd recommend going straight to the source and throwing some High Fructose Corn Syrup in there.

Finally, and you probably do this already, drink a lot of coke. often. Taste it like you are tasting wine. Sniff, swirl, taste, swish around in your mouth, etc. Write tasting notes. the more familiar you are with the coke taste the easier it will be for you to replicate it. There's no way you'll be successful in tweaking the ingredients properly unless you have a 100% clear idea of the target taste.
posted by rorycberger at 12:18 PM on August 7, 2006

And to further roryc, you might want to do a little reading of pros *talking* about tasting things; hearing the language will likely assist in focussing your evaluation and description of the things you're tasting, since this isn't something lots of people are practiced at.
posted by baylink at 12:53 PM on August 7, 2006

Good call, baylink. Do some google searching on wine tasting and read a primer or two on the subject. Pick up a copy of wine spectator and read a couple dozen wine reviews. Then do the same thing with a can of Coke.

Another thing to think about is the temperature you plan to serve your drink at. Many liquors taste fairly different when they are at room temp, refrigerator temp, and freezer temp. Shaking a cocktail with ice affects things as well, both chilling and watering down the drink.
posted by rorycberger at 2:47 PM on August 7, 2006

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