WASTELAND COLA – FALLOUT – homemade cola flavoured drink

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The most popular non-alcoholic drink before the Great War, which survived in quite significant amounts into the post-apocalypse, and the caps from its bottles began to be commonly used as a currency. We’re talking, of course, about the famous Nuka Cola, which appears in every part of Fallout, though surprisingly does not play a significant role in the first instalment. From Fallout 2, the drink serves as a in-game consumable, and from part 3, we can find several of its types (e.g., the Quantum version with a light isotope addition). In New Vegas, the fame of cola was overshadowed by Sunset Sarsaparilla, while in part 4, it received themed DLC, Nuka-World, where we can visit a pre-war amusement park.

This popular wasteland beverage was invented in 2044, and by 2067, vending machines with chilled bottles could be found throughout America. The composition of cola produced before the Great War contained carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame (sweetener), phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (acidity regulator), natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine (source). Meanwhile, in part 3, we meet a Mr. Handy robot named Milo, who explains that it’s a mix of seventeen different fruits in the right proportions, which gives it such a unique taste. It’s obvious that the game’s Nuka Cola refers to a real product – even the design of the bottle and labels leave no doubt about the source of inspiration.

The cola recipe is a closely guarded secret, but there are already recipes for various homemade imitations of this beverage. Surprisingly, it is indeed possible to recreate this taste in a quite credible way using a few spices and flavors. That’s why we set out to produce a drink that can successfully mimic the well-known beverage from the post-apocalyptic wasteland. We used ingredients that are easily available, so everyone can enjoy cola at their camp.

Time to quench your thirst!


homemade version of cola drink

PRICE: medium
SERVINGS: 6 servings
LEVEL: easy



1 cup (200g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
1 orange (for a zest)
1 lemon
1 lime
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
a few drops vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 1 stick)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch dried lavender (optional)
100ml brewed espresso coffee (optional)
sparkling water for serving



Scrub and wash citrus under running water, then grate their zest on the finest holes of the grater. Mix the grated zest in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lime and lemon into another container. (we won’t used orange juice, only zest).


Lightly crush coriander seeds by pressing with the side of a knife. Peel ginger using a teaspoon (scrape off its skin) and grate the flesh on a grater. If using a whole cinnamon stick, break it into smaller pieces. To the spice mixture, add grated nutmeg. The mixture already should smells like cola!

2. SYRUP (5 min)

Add 1/4 cup of sugar to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until dissolved. Reduce the heat and monitor the color of the caramel – when the caramel has a deep amber color, pour a cup of boiling water into the saucepan to stop the caramelization process. Be careful at this step not to burn yourself, as the first contact of caramel with water can be quite violent. Add the rest of the sugar (you can reduce the proposed amount so it’s not too sweet, but use no less than 1/2 cup in total), stir the mixture and move on to the next step.

3. FLAVORING (10 min)

To the caramel syrup, add the citrus zest and prepared spices.

Cook the entire mixture over low heat for about 10 min. Remove from the stove, add the juice of lemon and lime, and coffee (if using) for some caffeine, stir to combine, and set aside to cool. Then strain the mixture through cheesecloth to get a clear syrup.


Refrigerate and serve in glassess mixed with carbonated water in a 1:2 ratio – you can modify the ratio to find the best proportion of sweetness and flavour strength. Enjoy as if there’s no tomorrow!

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