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Retail source for cola syrup?

MC Slim JB Jun 7, 2012 02:03 PM

The Double Wide, a rather delicious and easy-drinking shot served at Brick & Mortar that combines Coke syrup and Jack Daniels, got me thinking about cola syrup as a cocktail ingredient. I believe actual Coca-Cola syrup for use in fountain dispensers is only sold at wholesale (and probably in impractically large sizes). I've seen recipes for homemade, but they generally call for ingredients I don't have on hand (citric acid, dried lavender flowers). I supposed I could always just buy some Coke and reduce it on the stovetop, but I really don't like the mouthfeel delivered by HFCS. Maybe Hounds know of a tasty premade brand, ideally sweetened with cane sugar, and where to buy it in the Boston area?


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  1. l
    LeoLioness RE: MC Slim JB Jun 7, 2012 02:10 PM

    I've seen various syrups at Boston Shaker. I can't say for sure if they have cola, but worth a call?

    1. Aromatherapy RE: MC Slim JB Jun 7, 2012 02:14 PM

      Check with Boston Shaker---they have a quite good root beer syrup (can't remember who makes it) and may have cola.

      1. b
        bostonfoodie111 RE: MC Slim JB Jun 7, 2012 02:19 PM

        Sodastream has a cola syrup which is promoted to purchase with their Sodastream machines but I know you can purchase them on their own. Sur la Table and Bed, Bath and Beyond carry them regularly. I think I've even seen them in Target as well. Williams Sonoma has a Cola and a Cherry Cola syrup right now. Their products are usually very good in quality.

        14 Replies
        1. re: bostonfoodie111
          Fly RE: bostonfoodie111 Jun 7, 2012 05:18 PM

          I know Target sells a sugar-sweetened SodaStream cola syrup, too, not just HFCS.

          1. re: bostonfoodie111
            Chris VR RE: bostonfoodie111 Jun 7, 2012 05:18 PM

            Many (If not most) of Sodastream's syrups use Splenda. Their cola syrup doesn't list it as an ingredient, though.

            1. re: Chris VR
              ferret RE: Chris VR Jun 8, 2012 09:36 AM

              It's in there (sucralose). All their flavors contain some of it, although the non-diet flavors combine it with sugar.

              1. re: ferret
                Chris VR RE: ferret Jun 8, 2012 09:43 AM

                Ah so it is. Sorry for the bad info!

                1. re: ferret
                  Fly RE: ferret Jun 8, 2012 11:33 AM

                  Not true. Again, SodaStream's "Naturally Sweetened" Cola syrup uses only Sugar.


                  You can see the ingredients there.

                2. re: Chris VR
                  MC Slim JB RE: Chris VR Jun 8, 2012 09:55 AM

                  I have found the few SodaStream syrups I have tried to be awful -- cloyingly sweet.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Jun 8, 2012 01:10 PM

                    Speaking as someone who has been looking into SodaStream (ie absolutely no knowledge), couldn't you just add less of the syrup? Or not really?

                    1. re: jgg13
                      Chris VR RE: jgg13 Jun 9, 2012 12:36 PM

                      I love my Sodastream but I agree, don't bother with the syrups. Bitters is the way to go! Angostura if that's all you've got on hand, and it makes a surprisingly nice soda. However we've been getting all sorts of neat bitters from Boston Shaker, Downtown Wine & Spirits and even Kappy's, and that's what we've been using to make some really refreshing drinks.

                      1. re: jgg13
                        MC Slim JB RE: jgg13 Jun 9, 2012 01:23 PM

                        Using less syrup just means that bad becomes diluted bad. I generally drink the seltzer plain, or add a little juice or any of a dozen bitters I keep around.


                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          kimfair1 RE: MC Slim JB Jun 11, 2012 06:00 AM

                          We use our Sodastream exclusively for plain seltzer water, which I then doctor with a few drops of bitters (my favorite is Boker's for this use). I was unimpressed by the flavoring syrups that came with the machine, and haven't bought any more of them.

                          1. re: kimfair1
                            BostonZest RE: kimfair1 Jun 11, 2012 07:42 AM

                            kimfair1, GMTA! I like the Fee brother's bitters. Using the lemon right now but I want to find the rhubarb. Has anyone seen that locally? Any Ginger bitters around? I also buy a cup of Bon Me's spicy ginger lemonade and add a bit of that to my seltzer when I happen by the truck.


                            1. re: BostonZest
                              kimfair1 RE: BostonZest Jun 11, 2012 11:30 AM

                              GMTA? I thought I knew all the internet abbreviations, but this one is new to me.

                              1. re: kimfair1
                                BostonZest RE: kimfair1 Jun 11, 2012 05:01 PM

                                Great minds think alike!

                                1. re: BostonZest
                                  kimfair1 RE: BostonZest Jun 14, 2012 01:06 PM

                                  Thanks! That one was bugging me.

                3. m
                  Madrid RE: MC Slim JB Jun 7, 2012 05:25 PM

                  oh I wish we could go back to the days when drug stores with soda fountains had the real thing before HFCS. I'm showing my age here. I was sick with vomiting for a few days once and my pediatrician called the local drug store and I got a prescription for a bottle of real coca cola syrup. A few tablespoons settled everything and saved me from a threatened hospital visit to get IV glucose. I hate the taste of coke now but remember how good those fountain cokes tasted and how that syrup kept me from dehydration. Maybe somebody could bring it back for medical purposes? Kind of like medical liquor during prohibition but in "reverse"?

                  I wonder if some of the sources for "mexican" or "kosher for passover" coke might have some supplies? Maybe the homecooking board might have some sources?

                  1. barleywino RE: MC Slim JB Jun 8, 2012 05:03 AM

                    you could also use the cola syrup to marinate your hangar steak

                    1. c
                      ColoradoXJ13 RE: MC Slim JB Jun 8, 2012 06:04 AM

                      Try homebrewing sources
                      You could use this
                      to make a syrup with sugar and a small amount of water.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ColoradoXJ13
                        LStaff RE: ColoradoXJ13 Jun 8, 2012 07:12 AM

                        Or locally, The Homebrew Emporium (Modern Brewer) on Mass ave in Cambridge.

                        1. re: LStaff
                          Chris VR RE: LStaff Jun 8, 2012 09:30 AM

                          Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn has it as well. Also online at beer-wine.com.

                      2. p
                        poundcake RE: MC Slim JB Jun 8, 2012 11:04 AM

                        You might ask at an old-school pharmacy. (Not the soda-fountain kind, just the old fashioned 'compounding' kind.) I worked at one in high school (>20 years ago) and we dispensed small quantities of Coca-cola syrup. I believe it was thought to be a nausea remedy.

                        Perhaps the pharmaceutical grade stuff (if it does, in fact, come from a pharmacy supplier) is made the traditional way with sugar? Just a thought.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: poundcake
                          Allstonian RE: poundcake Jun 9, 2012 01:43 PM

                          Skenderian Pharmacy in Cambridge would be a place to try in that case.

                          1. re: Allstonian
                            Allstonian RE: Allstonian Jun 9, 2012 01:53 PM

                            Also, you can mail-order it from the Vermont Country Store:

                          2. re: poundcake
                            davis_sq_pro RE: poundcake Jun 13, 2012 07:18 AM

                            Do they have the traditional coca-based one? That might be more fun!

                            1. re: poundcake
                              Blumie RE: poundcake Jun 14, 2012 06:59 AM

                              Cola syrup used to be dispensed, by prescription, to soothe upset stomachs!

                              Edited to add: just googled it, and came up with a mail order source:


                              Edited, again, to add that I see Allstonian beat me to it above!!

                            2. suzigirl RE: MC Slim JB Jun 9, 2012 01:49 PM

                              I read somewhere here on chow that you can special order it at local pharmacies. Worth a few calls to find out.

                              1. p
                                Pomander RE: MC Slim JB Jun 9, 2012 02:11 PM

                                Check Williams Sonoma. They make soda syrups under their own name (NOT sodastream, although they carry the carbonator machines by that company). I think the Sonoma Syrup company makes them. Flavors seem to go in and out of rotation, but cola is a staple. I have seen them online and in store and they are made with sugar. Of course, you could also check with Sonoma Syrups directly (I like their grenadine for cocktails). http://www.sonomasyrup.com/

                                1. suzigirl RE: MC Slim JB Jun 10, 2012 11:40 AM

                                  I am not in your area but in my area Walmart has sodastream syrup on sale this week for 4.96. It says that it makes the equivalent to 33 cans and contains no high fructose corn syrup or aspertame. Happy hunting.

                                  1. g
                                    gnomatic RE: MC Slim JB Jun 10, 2012 12:01 PM

                                    Flavrz makes a cola syrup, I saw it at Whole Foods (in San Francisco).

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: gnomatic
                                      almansa RE: gnomatic Jun 13, 2012 02:46 PM

                                      Any pharmacy in the infant section, if you only use small amounts. It's been around forever.

                                    2. opinionatedchef RE: MC Slim JB Jun 14, 2012 01:00 AM

                                      gee slim, i bought cola syrup at my local CVS a few yrs ago.Average cough syrup size bottle.

                                      1. r
                                        Reuniteonice RE: MC Slim JB Jun 15, 2012 10:38 AM

                                        The Double Wide? I thought that the JD & Coke syrup shot was called the "Fuck Off." Did they change the title recently? Censorship?!?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Reuniteonice
                                          jgg13 RE: Reuniteonice Jun 15, 2012 03:38 PM

                                          I believe the container it is premixed in has a label that says "fuck off". I think I've always seen it as the double wide though, but the first time i went in was a week or so after they opened.

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