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    Score: 3.44. Votes: 9

    Although the drink is 99 percent sugar water, that other 1 percent is the key to the drink's unique taste. The tangy citrus flavors, from lime juice, citrus oils, and citric acid (today the citric acid has been replaced with phosphoric acid), was used by pharmacist John Pemberton to overcome the inherent unpleasant bitterness of cocaine and caffeine. Even after removing the cocaine from the drink, it was still necessary to conceal the ghastly flavor of kola nut and coca leaf extract from the taste buds with the sweet, tangy syrup.

    To make an accurate clone of Coca-Cola at home, I started with the medicinal ingredient, probably just as John did. But rather than harvesting kola nuts, we have the luxury of access to caffeine pills found in any grocery store or pharmacy. One such brand is Vivarin, but it is yellow in color with a thick coating and it tastes much too bitter. NoDoz, however, is white and less bitter, with a thinner coating. Each NoDoz tablet contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, and a 12-ounce serving Coke has 46 milligrams in it. So, if we use 8 NoDoz tablets that have been crushed into powder with a mortar and pestle (or in a bowl using the back of a spoon) we get 44 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving, or 36 milligrams in each of the 10-ounce servings we make with this recipe. 

    Finding and adding the caffeine is the easy part. You'll probably have more trouble obtaining Coke's crucial flavoring ingredient: cassia oil. I was hoping to leave such a hard-to-get ingredient out of this recipe, but I found it impossible. The unique flavor of the Coke absolutely requires the inclusion of this Vietnamese cinnamon oil (usually sold for aromatherapy), but only a very small amount. You'll find the cassia oil in a health food store (I used the brand Oshadhi), along with the lemon oil and orange oil. The yield of this recipe had to be cranked up to 44 10-ounce servings since these oils are so strong—just one drop is all you'll need. Find them in bottles that allow you to measure exactly one drop if you can. If the oils don't come in such a bottle, buy eyedroppers at a drug store. Before you leave the health food store, don't forget the citric acid.

    This recipe, because of the old-fashioned technique of adding the syrup to soda water, creates a clone of Coke as it would taste coming out of a fountain machine. That Coke is usually not as fizzy as the bottled stuff. But if you add some ice to a glass of bottled Coke, and them some of this cloned version, the bubbles will settle down and you'll discover how close the two are. You can keep the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to mix each drink with soda water. 

    Because subtle differences in flavor can affect the finished product, be sure to measure your ingredients very carefully. Use the flat top edge of a butter knife to scrape away the excess sugar and citric acid from the top of the measuring cup and teaspoon, and don't estimate on any of the liquid ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 8

    Here's what happens behind the counter when you order a Cappuccino MooLatte frozen coffee drink at Dairy Queen: a plastic cup is filled almost halfway with the frozen simple syrup mix that comes out of the machine used for slush drinks. Next, your server hops over to the frozen soft serve machine and fills the cup the rest of the way with ice cream. After a couple squirts of concentrated coffee syrup, the drink is blended on a milkshake machine and is then passed off to you in exchange for a few greenbacks. Since we don't have the same efficient commercial equipment they use at Dairy Queen we must make our clone in a household blender. First things first, we need to start with very strong coffee. Make some espresso, or pick some up at your nearest coffee house. After dissolving sugar in the coffee, chill it, and then add it to ice cream, ice, and milk in a blender, and get it going. When the blender does its work, you'll have two 16-ounce clones of the DQ frozen coffee drink fave ready for whipped cream. If you prefer the mocha or caramel variety of the MooLatte, scroll to the bottom where the Tidbits will throw those variations your way.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.47. Votes: 15

    I was having trouble getting the flavors just right for Lipton's bottled diet green tea, which has become such a big seller. Real lime juice wasn't cutting it, nor were any of the extracts or oils I tried. Then, one day, I stumbled onto a new product called True Lime. It's a crystallized lime substitute that's made with lime juice and lime oil, and it comes in 2.85-ounce bottles or in boxes of 40 packets. It can be found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket, and it can be used for cooking wherever lime juice is required, or you can dissolve it in beverages. Had I found my secret ingredient? After some experimenting, I discovered that the citric acid in True Lime adds just the right amount of acidic tang that we need for a clone that tastes like the original product (which also contains citric acid). Success! To make your own version of this popular bottled green tea, simply pour some boiling water over a couple green tea bags, add the other ingredients listed below, and you'll soon have a home-brewed clone of Lipton's hit drink. Calories not included.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.55. Votes: 53

    I know, it's just tea. Tea and sugar, plain and simple—probably the easiest recipe on earth. But I had been getting so many requests to clone the sweet tea at McDonald's that I figured it's time for a hack. All you'll need to clone tea like Mickey D's are a few standard-size Lipton tea bags and a way to boil 2 quarts of water. There's a whole cup of sugar in there, so this tea is pretty sweet if you drink it straight. McDonald's serves the real stuff from a room-temperature jug into a cup filled to the top with ice. This will dilute the tea in just a few minutes so that it's not so crazy-sweet.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.17. Votes: 23

    If you've never had a Chelada, the idea of mixing beer with Clamato juice may make your stomach turn. This odd combination of beverages has origins in Mexico that date back to the 1940s, when beer was mixed with lime, salt, and hot sauce or salsa. In early 2008, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) and Cadbury-Schweppes (Clamato) teamed up to produce the first canned Chelada beverage, which they dubbed "The Red One," and after a successful launch in select western states, the product is now exploding across the country. Many swear by the drink as a remarkable hangover cure, and after some extensive personal experimentation, I must concur.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.64. Votes: 14

    In the coffee war that's been brewing since 2007, McDonald's is emerging victorious by snagging a significant chunk of the $11 billion coffee market away from sector-leader Starbucks. The hamburger chain's McCafe offerings, which include premium cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffees, scored higher in taste tests according to Consumer Reports magazine, and the drinks come with a lower price tag than comparable beverages at the coffeehouse chain. The Vanilla Iced Coffee appears to be a standout selection at The Golden Arches, and a home clone is simple after you get your hands on some Torani vanilla syrup. Brew up some coffee, chill it, then pour these three ingredients over ice in a 16-ounce glass. The taste of your finished drink will be determined by the quality of your coffee (McDonald's has its own beans), so be sure to brew your best stuff. The better the coffee you start with, the better your clone will taste.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Tastes like lemonade, buzzes like booze. Use the fresh lemonade hack recipe here, or a pre-made lemonade when on time-sensitive missions.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Pear vodka and pear nectar combine for big pear flavor in this refreshing martini hack from The Factory. If you can't find Torani passion fruit syrup, use passion fruit juice. And be sure to chill the glass with ice and a little water before mixing.

    by Todd Wilbur.

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