Natural Cola Recipe!

Make your own Cola! Here is the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Grated zest of 2 medium oranges
Grated zest of 1 large lime
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 section of a star anise pod, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 one-and-a-half-inch piece vanilla bean, split
1/4 teaspoon citric acid (available at health food stores, or canning supply stores or kingarthurflour.com)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon caramel color powder, optional (available at kingarthurflour.com).

Directions:

1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to a simmer with the zests, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, lavender, ginger, vanilla and citric acid. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

2. In a food processor, whirl the sugars together for one minute (this will help them dissolve), then transfer to a large bowl. If using caramel color, sprinkle it over the sugar.

3. Line a sieve or colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over the bowl. Pour the contents of the pot through the sieve. Carefully gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist the top to close. Use a spoon to press the bundle against the sieve, squeezing out all the flavorful liquid.

4. Stir the syrup and let cool, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes. Transfer to containers and keep refrigerated. To make a soda, pour 1/4 cup syrup over ice and add 1 cup seltzer. Stir.