Originally a medicinal root combination that was meant to assist in digestion and metabolism and subtly detox the body or improve organ function for the liver, GI, urinary tract and skin. The formula was created in 1876 by pharmacist Charles Hires and bottled as a soft drink by 1893. The key flavor came from the Sassafras tree or root bark that is prevalent east of the Mississippi. The flavoring got a bad rap in 1960 because studies on the essential oil of the bark on rats indicated potential liver toxicity and carcinogenic activity but hundreds of years and thousands of people drinking the tea have not increased the incidence of liver problems or liver cancer so, as is true with many plant medicines, the whole plant appears to be quite safe, just don’t drink the essential oil.
Sassafras bark 2 Tbsp.
Smilax root (Sarsaparilla) 2 tsp.
Pimpinella (Anise) 2 Tbsp.
Prunus serotina (Wild Cherry bark) 2 tsp. (preferably fresh bark)
Illicium verum (Star Anise) 2 Tbsp.
*2 Tbsp. – ¼ cup of Honey or Maple Syrup.
Coca-cola© was meant to be an energizing formula, increasing oxygen to the brain. It began as a wine but changed to a non-alcoholic formula after the prohibition. It sold for 5 cents as an elixir to be mixed into a drink with carbonated water. The main herbs used were spent Coca leaves (left over from Cocaine processing so not particular high in that alkaloid) and Kola-nut. The combination contained caffeine and constituents that improved brain oxidation, energy and circulation. It was used for headaches, morphine addiction, numbness & tingling of blood flow origin and indigestion. Coca tea is still used today for improving oxygenation in high elevation areas (Peru, for example). My recreation is aimed at energy, adrenal support and oxygen circulation.
Gingko leaf 2 Tbsp.
Rosemary leaf 2 Tbsp.
Centella (Gotu Kola) leaf 2 Tbsp.
Eleuthrococcus (Siberian Ginseng) root 2 Tbsp.
*1/4 cup simple syrup
Originally a vanilla, pepsin and Cola drink, now very similar to the sugar based syrup that Coca-cola©. Originally used as a digestive aid (pepsin is a digestive enzyme). Later recipes appear to have the Cola taken out. Other myths suggest that it contained Pipsissewa (a urinary tract herb) because of the similar sounding name but that remains unconfirmed. Also said to have contained "rare oils" which may refer to essential oils (wintergreen oil was popular back then for flavoring) or to other digestive oils like mint or anise. My recreation is aimed at digestion and inflammation and tastes and smells remarkably like the original soda.
Vanilla 4 pods split open and cut up into ½ inch pieces
Betula bark (Birch) – 1 Tbsp.
Chimaphila (Pipsissewa) leaf 2 Tbsp.
Withania (Ashwaganda) root 1/4 tsp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
*½ cup honey
This was a citrusy formula, providing vitamin C and sour taste which assisted in digestion. The orgininal formulation was created by Charles Leiper Grigg in 1920. Grigg came up with the formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The formula contained Lithium-citrate which was and still is used as a mood-stabilizing drug. The original, and not very catchy name was "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda", and was launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, ironically. It contained lithium citrate until 1950. Philip Morris bought the rights to the formula in 1978, and sold it in 1986, to a group led by the investment firm Hicks & Haas. 7 Up merged with Dr Pepper in 1988; Cadbury Schweppes bought the combined company in 1995. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group was spun off from Cadbury Schweppes in 2008. This was the easiest and tastiest formula recreation I made. Using fresh material makes it outstanding!
Mood Stabilizing formula:
(bring water to a boil first then add herbs)
Melissa (Lemon Balm) – ½ cup fresh, chopped
Mentha spicata (Spearmint) 2 Tbsp fresh, chopped
Tilia (Linden flowers) 2 Tbsp
Lemongrass 1 Tbsp
Citrus (ground lemon peel - fresh) 3 tsp.
Lime peel (ground peel) 2 tsp. or 1 T lime juice (or both)
1/3 cup simple syrup
Syrup and Soda Directions:
Add herbal ingredients all at once unless otherwise directed to about 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, covered, and then turn down to low heat (simmer) for 15 minutes. Strain and add sugar amounts (*as directed by each ingredient list i.e, some will be honey, some maple syrup or sugar water or whatever you want to add….). Put in glass jar, cap and keep refrigerator. Will need to be shaken before mixing with carbonated water, then add carbonated water to taste.