That said, I knew there had to be people out there looking for other matches, so I thought I would bring something more to the table, though surprisingly, Homemade Coke didn't seem to have the same allure. Maybe there's enough out there on the web that people are getting their fix, or Coke drinkers didn't want to relive the possible New Coke fiasco at home.
There's another beverage out there who's recipe is as secretive as Coca-Cola, yet it's hinted at in their advertising as to it's complexity. Dr. Pepper touts a whopping 23 flavors that make up their magical concoction and there are a number of lists floating around on speculation as to what those 23 flavors might be. Taking those into consideration, I made up my own:
As a preview to My Book, I bring you Mockter Pepper; or homemade Dr Pepper. Quarry's SPOON Blog posted the recipe, so you'll find the complete excerpt there.
For anyone interested in how I ended up with it, I will say this one was a bit of a challenge. My goal was focused more on attaining something suitable rather than nailing all 23 mystery flavors, you have a better chance of winning the lottery trying to match 5 numbers and a powerball in my opinion. It's important to remember that flavors found in nature are a cocktail of various organic volatiles, and it's the blend that is usually unique to a flavor rather then the components. For example, benzaldehyde is a key component of almond flavor, but it's also a key component of cherry flavor and typically found in most drupe fruits to some degree. So if Dr Pepper's 23 flavor formula consists of any of the drupe fruits (plum, cherry, black cherry, apricot, peach, etc.) it likely doesn't matter from what I derive my benzaldehyde in my recipe. Dr Pepper has denied the claim that they use prune juice in their flavoring, but I find it's a suitable base in mine. So I don't worry so much about hitting all 23 or even having 23, especially considering the fact that no one without direct knowledge can confirm what 23 they actually are.
In my recipe, I started with a pepsi type cola recipe as a base (I have read that some people outside the US will take an almond extract and add it to Pepsi and they swear it tastes like Dr Pepper), I had read that gentian root, a component of angustora bitters is also touted by some as being a key flavoring component of both Dr Pepper and Pepsi, so I added that to the cola recipe. As I mentioned, for the drupe fruit base, I used dried plums. I also used raspberries for a more complex fruit flavor. I added cloves since that seemed to show up on a lot of "23 flavors" lists floating around and some wild cherry bark for a more complex bittering. I'm not a Pepper drinker, so I can't say that it's an exact match, but it's close enough for me to call it what it is. As you can see here and in the cola and Dew recipes, I'm not much of a caffeine drinker, so I left that out as well.
I'd love to hear comments for anyone that is a Pepper fan and how this recipe stacks up. Now you can make enough to have at 10, 2, and 4 and everywhere in between.