Sunday, July 12, 2009

Homemade Coca-Cola Taste Challenge

We found a recipe for homemade Coca-Cola on the ChemShorts page of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society (, that we just had to try this week. The ingredients were pretty simple:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

  • 1/2 cup club soda

After mixing up a batch, and sampling it ourselves, then fiddling around with it for a know, a pinch more of this, a dab more of that...we thought we had a pretty good match. In a blind taste test though, the kids could tell instantly which was the real Coke. I'm pretty sure it was mainly because the carbonation was better in the Coca-Cola. Just looking at the samples, we could see bigger, healthier bubbles in the real thing, verses our attempted copy.

It was an interesting glance into the world of product research, and development. And, it did lead to an examination of the ingredients list on the side of the Coke bottle, and some questioning of the necessity of food coloring. Would we want to drink a cola that was clear?

I did suspect the children's interest in the subject might have been spurred on by the desire to dupe their mother out of additional sips of soda (we usually push milk and water for the kids - one of the few healthy lines we've been able to hold). Of course, they might have suspected the presence of a free flowing bottle of Coke in the kitchen, was an attempt of their mother's to lure them into science, home economics, sociology, math, or some such subject, under the guise of having fun. They'd be right, of course.

Even so, soda was consumed, learning took place, and it's great to be a homeschooler.

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