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Retail source for cola syrup?

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?

http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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

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

      1. 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

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

          1. re: bostonfoodie111

            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

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

              1. re: ferret

                Ah so it is. Sorry for the bad info!

                1. re: ferret

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

                  http://www.sodastreamusa.com/ProductI...

                  You can see the ingredients there.

                2. re: Chris VR

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

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    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

                      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

                        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.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          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

                            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.

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                            1. re: BostonZest

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

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

                    1. Try homebrewing sources
                      You could use this
                      http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product...
                      to make a syrup with sugar and a small amount of water.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ColoradoXJ13

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

                        1. re: LStaff

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

                      2. 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

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

                          1. re: poundcake

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

                            1. re: poundcake

                              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:

                              http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/st...

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

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

                              1. 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. 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. Flavrz makes a cola syrup, I saw it at Whole Foods (in San Francisco).
                                    http://www.flavrzdrinkmix.com/drink-m...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: gnomatic

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

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

                                      1. 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

                                          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.