Hello, Friends of Cocktails. When someone says orange soda, Fanta usually comes to mind first, and even though it was the go-to drink for many of us in our childhoods, it’s rarely used in cocktails. Still, that won’t stop us from making a homemade version and using it to make a simple & delicious cocktail! The whole process can be done in under 15 minutes and once you have all the ingredients it’s super cheap as well, but let’s start with the obvious: what is Fanta?
Fanta was created in Germany during the 2nd World War, because of a trade embargo from the US. Since they couldn’t get Coca-Cola syrup, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland decided to create a new product with leftovers from other productions - sugar beet, whey and apple pomace. As the team was urged to come up with a good name and to use their imagination, or “fantasie” in German, a salesman shouted “Fanta!”.
Interestingly, the modern-day orange Fanta was first produced in Naples, Italy in 1955 using locally sourced oranges - and while we’re on the subject of oranges, the US version doesn’t contain any actual orange juice while European versions do. Besides orange, Fanta is also known for its many flavors with more than 200 options worldwide, but we’re making our version of their best known flavored soda: orange. This will take 3 easy steps, so let’s start, it’s Cocktail Time!
Orange Oleo Saccharum
● 40g Orange Peels
● 450g Sugar
You just need to place everything into a container, give the mix a good muddle, and wait a few hours for the sugar to extract the oils from the peels. One important thing I’d like to emphasize is how important it is to use organic citrus when using the peels for infusions or blending them up. Citrus fruits are usually coated with wax for extended shelf life and freshness, and even thorough washing doesn't completely remove the wax.
So to make sure you and your guests consume only the best and entirely safe products, remember to look for citrus with declared edible peels. With that said, and while the oleo saccharum is on its way, it's time to make Gentian Tea. This is completely optional, but I wanted to add a touch of subtle bitterness to the orange to balance the sweetness and enhance the flavor of our orange soda cocktails. So if you can’t find gentian root, no worries, you can still enjoy a delicious homemade orange Fanta.
● 500g Water
● 2.4g Gentian Root
All you have to do is steep the tea for 5 minutes, then filter and leave to cool. Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to make our Fanta-stic Syrup.
● 450mL · 15oz Gentian Tea
● 1.5g Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
● 2.5g Malic Acid
● 20g Citric Acid
● Orange Oleo Saccharum
Into a blender add the chilled gentian tea, or water if you’re not using gentian tea. Then add all the sugar with the orange peels and the extracted oils, and to make sure you get it all out rinse it with the tea, and of course add the acids. Blend everything for at least 30 seconds or long enough for the orange peel to be completely blended, and once that’s done it’s time to strain our Fanta-stic Syrup through a cloth filter. This shouldn’t take too long and you’re ready to make your own orange soda.
● 120mL · 4oz Fanta-stic Syrup
● 680mL · 22.66oz Cold Water
● 20 drops 20% Saline Solution
● 2 CO2 Cartridge
I’m using the iSi Twist&Sparkle, which allows you to carbonate flavored drinks, and all you need is to pour your ingredients in, and carbonate with a CO2 cartridge. For extra carbonation we’ll add another cartridge after about 30 minutes, and after that you can add the soda to the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, if you want to prepare single servings of Fanta-stic Soda instead, you can use some small bottles and fill them with 30mL or 1oz of Fanta-stic Syrup, 2 drops of saline solution and top them with soda before capping them - now you have a perfect companion to Kevin Cola!
So before making any cocktails, let's give our Fanta-stic soda a try, cheers! The aroma and taste is very similar to classic orange sodas. The sweetness of orange is present throughout, but there's an interesting subtle bitterness that nicely balances our Fantastic soda. So we’ll try 3 cocktails today, a special one I’m calling the Brandy & Orange, and 2 extra ones that you’ll be able to see if you are a member of our Patreon!
We are very thankful for our Patreons’ direct support, as it allows us to take on more ambitious projects, showing you what mixology can be about in professional settings along the way. So if you want more Cocktail Time throughout the week, including BTS pics from the filming of each episode & more, consider joining. But now, let’s give our Fanta-stic Soda a proper taste.
Brandy & Orange
● 45mL · 1.5oz 7-Year Ararat Brandy
● 120mL · 4oz Fanta-stic Soda
● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution
Into a chilled tall glass with a clear ice spear we’ll add our brandy, saline solution and Fanta-stic Soda. Now mix the ingredients with a gentle turn and lift of a bar spoon, and a mint garnish will pair nicely with the herbal aroma and brighten up the overall appearance of the cocktail. To finish it off, add a few sprays of absinthe on top, and remember that a little goes a long way. With that, we can now give this special brandy cocktail a try, cheers!
First you’ll get anise and mint, both of which are a great combination with orange. Ararat brandy works great in this cocktail, as it doesn't let our Fantastic Soda dominate, but it actually elevates the orange soda - what more could you ask for? Also, if you’re wondering what this special brandy is all about, Ararat is Armenian Brandy that has been produced for over 130 years, using only indigenous Armenian grapes!
Not only that, but Ararat is matured in casks made from Caucasian oak, also called Persian oak, which grows in the Caucasus and the surrounding region. The 7-year-aged Ararat Ani blend has a rich amber color, and it is pleasantly warm on the nose with aroma of grapes and dried fruits. On the flavor it’s fresh and spicy with bright notes of orange, vanilla and subtle hints of almond, but theArarat’s core collection also includes the 3, 5, 10, 15, and 20 year-old brandies as well - not a sponsor by the way, but such a cool brand deserves some recognition!
With that you’ve made it to the Bottom of The Glass, and today we’ll talk about the origin of today’s brandy. Before we get to that though, I still owe you a follow-up on the Milk Syrup, and it’s now been 35 days since we shot that episode and… it’s no longer good - so let’s say that it holds up to 4 weeks. So… did you know that Armenia, the home of Ararat, is also believed to be the birthplace of wine?
This small, land-locked country with the capital city of Yerevan, is bordered by Türkiye, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran, and this region is where they found some of the oldest historical evidence of winemaking, going back around 6,000 years. If that inspires you to make a wine-based cocktail, check out this post for a cocktail using with white wine, fig liqueur and orange bitters. Until next time, cheers, Friends of Cocktails!