“gnuola” the open-source cola

Posted: February 19, 2007 in linux, news & stories, zeroes and ones

unpack the tar-cola package.

configure –prefix=/usr/local/brewer


shake install


disclaimer: ok so it’s not really called gnuola. i just couldn’t help it. LOLz.. . 😀 they call it the OpenCola. mind you it is a brand name. and Yes it (the source code) is licensed under the GNU General Public License.




OpenCola soda is distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GPL), a copy of which is appended toopencola.png

the bottom of this document. Please check out Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation. He wrote the GPL

and has plenty of interesting documentation on the site.

Version History:



Added sterner caffeine warnings, link to Material Safety Data Sheet – thanks to Tom Swulius. Added contributors




Fixed Amanda’s email address



Even more disclaimer, this time to differentiate this recipe from the stuff in the cans.



Fixed typos. Made disclaimer scarier. Removed snotty references to Americans.



Original text


Contained hereunder is a HOW-TO for brewing up kitchen-sink OpenCola. Amazingly enough, every soft-drink

vendor we spoke to acted like the preparation of cola was some kind of deep, dark trade-seekrutâ„¢ . With much

reverse-engineering and creative shopping, the research kitchens at OpenCola have coopered together the

following makefile for brewing up The Black Waters of Corporate Imperialismâ„¢ in the privacy of your own home.

The basis for the whole thing is the 7X, Top-Seekrutâ„¢ formula. Our sources tell us that 7X is the internal Coca-

Cola codename for their syrup. You’ll note that the 7X formula contains eight ingredients: still more evidence of the

deviousness of the Soda Gnomes.

As it turns out, mixing up a batch of cola’s pretty easy. Finding the ingredients is damned hard. Most of this file is

about finding and handling ingredients so as to produce a tasty bevvy without blowing up your kitchen, melting

your flesh off your bones, or poisoning yourself. As with all undertakings of great moment, read and understand the

instructions before attempting to commit cola on your own. Pay special attention to the “Warnings” section.

This recipe is licensed under the GNU General Public license. It is “Open Source” Cola, or, if you prefer, “Free”

Cola. That means you’re free to use this recipe to make your own cola, or to make derivative colas. If you distribute

derivative colas, you’re expected to send email to the recipe’s author, Amanda Foubister (amanda@opencola.com)

with your updates. In the future, we expect to have a CVS server up to handle additions, bug-reports, etc.

The Formula

7X (Top Seekrutâ„¢ ) flavoring formula:

3.50 ml orange oil

1.00 ml lemon oil

1.00 ml nutmeg oil

1.25 ml cassia oil

0.25 ml coriander oil

0.25 ml neroli oil

2.75 ml lime oil

0.25 ml lavender oil

10.0 g gum arabic

3.00 ml water

OpenCola syrup:

2.00 tsp. 7X formula

3.50 tsp. 75% phosphoric acid or citric acid

2.28 l water

2.36 kg plain granulated white table sugar

0.50 tsp. caffeine (optional)

30.0 ml caramel color


7X Flavoring:

Mix oils together in a cup. Add gum arabic, mix with a spoon. Add water and mix well. I used my trusty Braun mixer

for this step, mixing for 4-5 minutes. You can also transfer to a blender for this step. Can be kept in a sealed glass

jar in the fridge or at room temperature.

Please note that this mixture will separate. The Gum Arabic is essential to this part of the recipe, as you are mixing

oil and water.


In a one gallon container (I used the Rubbermaid Servin’ Saver Dry Food Keeper, 1.3 US Gal/4.92 l), take 5 mls of

the 7X formula, add the 75% phosphoric or citric acid. Add the water, then the sugar. While mixing, add the

caffeine, if desired. Make sure the caffeine is completely dissolved. Then add the caramel color. Mix thoroughly.


To finish drink, take one part syrup and add 5 parts carbonated water.

Scavenging and Handling Ingredients

7X flavor:

Measurement: I used a dropper purchased at a Shoppers Drug Mart (normally used to measure infant portions of

medicine, I believe).

Oils: Oils can cause skin irritation. Wear latex food-prep or surgical gloves. If oils come in contact with skin, wash

with soap and water.

I purchased all oils from health food stores and the herbalist store, Thuna’s (see notes on gum arabic).

Everything could have come from the herbalist’s. Try for 100 percent pure, undiluted oils. I used oils from the

following companies:

? CK Solutions, Ft. Wayne, IN 46825

? Aura Cacia Oils, Weaverville, CA 96093

? Aromaforce Essential Oils

? Frontier Natural Flavors, http://www.frontiercoop.com

? Karooch, Peterborough, ONT K9J 7Y8

When I purchased the oils, I specifically asked whether they were food grade or not. All persons said that they

were, one person said she used them internally all the time.

Neroli is a very expensive item, be prepared (US$48.52 for 5.00 ml).

All others were a more reasonable price (US$2-9.30).

Gum Arabic: It is very important that you get only food-grade Gum Arabic. There is also an art-grade, which is

readily available at art supply stores – never use art-grade Gum Arabic! Art-grade Gum Arabic is toxic. It will

make you ill. You’ll be sad. We’ll be sad.

I found food-grade Gum Arabic at an herbalist store in Toronto called Thuna’s (416) 461-8191. I purchased 112g

for US$12.46, which will make more than 11 batches of flavoring formula.


Water: good old tap water will do, if you trust your tap. I used spring water.

75% Phosphoric Acid: Due to its acidity, this product is corrosive to the eyes and skin. Handle with gloved hands,

and use extreme caution. If comes in contact with the eyes or skin, immediately flush with plenty of water for at

least 15 minutes. Get medical attention. Rinse any spills on clothing or other surfaces thoroughly. Store in a secure

area. Do not store more than 50.0 ml.

Try finding phosphoric acid at a compounding pharmacy in your area. There are pharmacies that still mix their own

individual compounds and still stock phosphoric acid.

Citric acid: Very easy to find. I found mine at a Shoppers Drug Mart (Rougier Pharma Inc, Quebec, Canada J7J

1P3). Says right on the label, “For the preparation of acidulous drinks and effervescing draughts, and preservation

of jams and jellies.” According to the Coke history book, citric acid was used first in the formula, but they now use

the phosphoric.

Sugar: Basic granulated white table sugar found everywhere. Buy from a bulk store to save some money.

Caffeine: It’s best not to store caffeine in any amount. Caffeine can kill people in relatively small doses. The

median lethal dose for an adult human is around 10 grams, or approximately one third of an ounce. You can find

out more by reading the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for caffeine at

http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/c0165.htm. Don’t yeild to the temptation to create a “Super-Joltâ„¢ ,” adding tons and

tons of the white stuff to your cola, our you’ll be in a world of hurt. If stored, store in a secure area away from

children. Toxic by inhalation and ingestion: If inhaled, remove to fresh air, If ingested, call a physician. Possible

teratogen and mutagen. If product comes in contact with the eyes, flush with plenty of water. There is some great

information on caffeine and it’s over-consumption at http://www.thecaffeinepage.com.

Caffeine is completely optional. I used part of a caffeine pill (MVP, http://www.mvpnutrition.com), ground up in a pestle

with a mortar. According to information on the pill bottle and on the Web site, the pills are 100% caffeine. As an

extra safety precaution, I strained all of the syrup through a 4-ply of cheesecloth, in case any of the caffeine wasn’t


Caramel color: I found mine at a bakery supply store (World of Cake Decorating, 1766 Weston Road, Toronto,

Ontario, Canada 416-247-4935). I was originally told to use double strength caramel color, but couldn’t find it

anywhere (retail or wholesale). It really only adds color, so it makes it a bit paler than we are used to coming out of

a can or bottle. No other difference that we could discern during our taste-testing.


Soda Water: I purchased a soda charger and CO2 cartridges at Nikolaou’s (629 Queen Street West, Toronto,

Ontario, Canada 416-504-6411) to deliver the soda charge needed to make the cola fizzy. At testing, no one was

impressed. What worked best was adding canned sodium-free (very important!) soda water to the syrup.

If you would like to make soda water yourself as well, here is a recipe from a great Web site on beverages


Soda: Carbonated Water

? 5 U.S. gallons of water

? 1.5 cups sugar (or sugar syrup)

? 1 teaspoon dry bread yeast (rehydrated)

I fill each bottle 2/3 full, screw on the top, and leave for one or two weeks. Each weekend I measure and add the

syrup to a few bottles, top them off with water and stick them in the fridge.

This is a very quick operation. I had experimented with adding dry sugar, but this caused an excessive amount of




download “source code” here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/OpenCola_soft_drink_recipe.pdf

read related info here: http://everythingelse.wordpress.com/2007/02/18/opencola-open-source-coca-cola/


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  1. william duff says:

    LOL , then it should work under GML licence not GNU/GPL of course.
    GML (General Money Licence)

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