OpenCola is a brand of open-source cola whose list of ingredients and preparation instructions are freely available and modifiable. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe. It was launched in 2001 by free software P2P company Opencola, to promote their company.[1]

Introduced2001; 23 years ago (2001)
Related productsFree Beer Edit this on Wikidata



The original version 1.0 was released on 27 January 2001 by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow, and John Henson. The current version is 1.1.3. Although originally intended as a promotional tool to explain free and open source software, the drink took on a life of its own and 150,000 cans were sold.[2] The Toronto-based company Opencola became better known for the drink than the software it was supposed to promote. Laird Brown, the company's senior strategist, attributes its success to a widespread mistrust of big corporations and the "proprietary nature of almost everything".[3]

Flavouring formula

Flavouring oils used in OpenCola

The flavouring formula for OpenCola is:[4][5]

Concentrate formula

Ingredients of OpenCola



After mixing up the concentrate to the prescribed recipe (including all recommended safety precautions), the syrup is diluted 5:1 with ("preferably sodium-free") soda water to make the finished drink; at this dilution, the above combination of ingredients will yield approximately 24 litres of OpenCola.

The full recipe also includes instructions for home-made soda water produced from basic ingredients such as yeast and sugar in order to make the entire process open source; otherwise there would be a need to use commercially produced bottled or canned soda, or consumer carbonation machines with commercially manufactured carbon dioxide canisters.[4][5]

See also



  1. ^ Paul Heltzel (9 April 2001). "OpenCola-Have Some Code and a Smile". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 5 September 2020. A software company that happens to produce a soda, OpenCola uses peer-to-peer searching to find information on the Web. Its soft drink, OpenCola, helps to promote the company.
  2. ^ Malyn (18 February 2007). "OpenCola - Open Source Coca Cola". Digital Journal. Retrieved 13 February 2019. The soft drink was originally intended to be a promotional tool to help explain open source software but since its launch it's taken on a life of its own. The company that launched it has become more well known for the drink than the software they offer... the website selling the drink has sold over 150,000 cans!
  3. ^ Ian Steadman (13 April 2013). "Open source cola and the 'Napster moment' for the food business". Wired. Retrieved 13 February 2019. It's called Open Cola, a product first produced by now-defunct Toronto software company Opencola as something of a joke. Taking inspiration from Richard Stallman's famous dictum that free software was "free as in speech, not as in beer", it was meant as a kind of promotional tool. The recipe was published online for anyone to take and adapt. Version 1.0 was published on 27 January 2001 -- the latest version is 1.1.3. Opencola closed in 2003, but Open Cola's recipe is still around.
  4. ^ a b c " - Soft Drink Formula - Internet Archive". 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-02-18. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  5. ^ a b c Amanda Foubister (2001). "OpenCola Soft Drink Recipe" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-28.