How do you begin your clone?

This goes out to all you DIY 'ers who either clone or try to replicate a particular taste. Where do you begin? There are some things that have complex flavors where you can pickup certain flavor notes, but sometimes the flavor isn’t there until you combine a couple of things.
There has to be a starting point… I am just trying to figure out where it is. :neutral_face:
So here is the reason I ask… a friend of mine has asked me to try and figure out how to replicate the flavor of a drink… a Monkey La La. I have the drink recipe, so my thoughts were to basically convert the ingredients to flavorings at roughly the same ratios…however, different flavors have different concentrations which could throw a wrench in things. I am assuming this is going to take some trial and error… I was just thinking someone may have a jumping off point.

Drink Recipe:
1 oz Baileys
1 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Rum
2 oz cream of coconut
splash of milk or cream

Proposed Starting Point:
Vanilla Custard ( CAP ) 2%
Coconut 6%
Custard Sub (Smooth ) (TFA ) 2%
Irish Cream (CAP) 3%
Kahlua and Cream ( TFA ) 3%
Rum ( FW ) 1%

Looks like a pretty good starting point but your right, some flavors, such as coconut, can be quite concentrated. I have coconut extra TPA and I know if you put 6% of that in a mix, you will regret it very much. Now in saying that, that is the only coconut I have tried so some others may not be as concentrated. For me, having the drink mixed up and available to try after you have mixed is very helpful. Say you want to clone a flavor, its best to buy that juice and go from there. After trying it maybe you need more of this or less of that but you have that reference.

Also have your friend try the juice as well and maybe she can help you with things that may be missing etc. Good luck and it sounds like a very interesting flavor. I would like to see what you come up with!

Thanks for the insight as to the strength of the coconut… maybe I will start around 4% and work up from there if needed.

If you are using the coconut extra from TPA, I would recommend say maybe 2% or so. Otherwise it is very over powering, IMO.

I’d even go with Coconut Candy (TPA) if you have it… Its more of a sweetened creamy coconut flavoring IMO…

Here’s what I would do…as well as some suggestions for getting started with the mix.

  1. Make the drink or go where she gets it and try it. If you don’t touch alcohol this will be impossible as there is nothing I can think of that would replicate the flavor of this drink that doesn’t have alcohol.
  2. Take small sips, very small sips. Let the drink sit on your tongue while you concentrate on the flavor you’re experiencing. What’s the main flavor you can identify first? What other flavors to you taste…even very subtle ones. Remember, if you can identify a flavor without a doubt, you’ll likely be on track if you get flavors that taste like it.
  3. Remember that some flavors can kind of meld once mixed. So you may need less emphasis on your creams. IF (and this is a big if) the Irish Cream recipe is anything like Bailey’s, you may find other ingredients aren’t that necessary. Example…if you’re using Irish Cream and Kahlua and Cream flavorings, you may be better served on your first attempt skipping any other cream flavoring.
  4. I would recommend skipping custard as a starting point. It may not work well in the recipe at all and I think you’d be better off trying it without at first.

So, having never tried this drink but backed by having had each of these liqueurs, here’s where my head would be in trying it…apart from a tasting of the drink first.

There are 1 oz of Bailey’s and Kahlua each, yet 2 oz of coconut cream. Sounds like coconut may take a fairly prominent seat here. Bailey’s is very creamy, but sweet is the dominant thing. Kahlua…class by itself but clearly, sweet coffee is in there. Vodka has little to no flavor…and rum at 1/2 oz will hardly lend a hand. So, I think to start I would skip the alcohol influences altogether and perhaps try…

TPA - Coconut (NOT EXTRA) 3%. Or as don said, coconut candy, although I’ve never tried it so not sure about % at all
Irish Cream 2%
Kahlua and Cream (it’s likely not that Kahlua-ish since it has cream) 4%
Then either…
Dulce de Leche 4% and Cotton Candy 8%…or…
Sweet Cream (TPA) 10%, Cotton Candy 4%

These are just ideas. I will be following this thread and am very interested to find out how your clone journey goes. Best of luck!