The Last Thing to do Before Throwing Away Flat Soda
That disappointing moment when you come across that flat can of once fizzy soda you forgot about. We've all been there once or twice. While this pop-less soda may seem like it belongs in the trash, you can still wring one more flavorful trick out of it!
When all the fizz and pep have faded and it's little more than a sugary syrup, it can get a second life by being used in a homemade batch of barbecue sauce.
Whether you are team Pepsi or team Coke, a touch of cola will enhance the underlying sweetness of a barbecue sauce. It also acts as a nice counter-note to the saltier or spicier ingredients, like Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper.
This trick works for Dr. Pepper and root beer as well, the sweet herbal notes play well with the smokey heat of a typical barbecue glaze. The best part? No fizz is required for your soft drink to help elevate your barbecue sauce, and even if you use a fresh can, the carbonation will cook off anyway!
So how do you turn your flat soda into the best homemade batch of barbecue sauce?
It's best to start with a classic recipe that has a ketchup base, as they complement your cola's aromatic sweetness. Most cola barbecue sauces use ketchup to soda in a 1:1 ratio, so for every cup of ketchup, add a cup of cola.
From there, most recipes will call for a hefty amount of Worcestershire (1.4 cup for every 1 cup of cola) and dashes of other traditional seasonings like garlic powder, brown sugar, and a touch of hot sauce.
Take note that you should be mindful of adding any extra sweeteners to your barbecue sauce, like honey, as the soda will already be packing a sugary punch.
Simmer all of your ingredients together on the stovetop until properly thickened up (about 6-8 minutes). When the cooking portion is finished, consider adding an acidic ingredient, like a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice, to cut all the sweetness.
This soda-spiked barbecue sauce can keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and will be a delicious addition to your next batch of baby back ribs, chicken wings, or even pulled pork sandos. Either way, it's a tasty way to recycle flat soda!