Making Your First DIY Flavor Order

Swimming in the Sea of Flavoring

This is a follow-up to the first article discussing how to approach choosing flavors you will need as you venture into the world of DIY E-Liquid creating. The Flavor-Pro team has come up with an extensive list of our top picks for the first time mixer to look at purchasing for their first order.
Whether you’re looking to create a specific profile, or you want to get a selection of flavors to make into various types of recipes, this list will help you get a grasp of what we consider the best starting flavors. Many of these flavors can work on their own as a single flavor mix, or can be blended with other flavors for simple recipes.

If you are coming from the commercial juice market, one ingredient you are likely going to want is a sweetener. The majority of juices available in stores have some type of sweetener in them and you’ll have to decide on one based on the level of sweetness found in your normal selection.

TPA/TFA (The Flavor Apprentice) Sweetener – This is a mellow sucralose blended with Maltol, which gives it a slightly caramel note. It works well for moderate sweetness and to add a touch of darkened sugar to your recipe. General percentages range from 0.5% to 4% before it will cause muting (though this can be desirable when using high percentages of flavoring in simple recipes – in the muting range over 4% to 10% sweetener level is possibly used in recipes to force mute – a topic we will cover in a future article.)

FW (Flavor West) Sweetener – This is a fairly potent PG based sucralose sweetener.  This one is just sweet, no added maltol or darkness to it and works well when you want a blank somewhat moist sweetness in a mix.  The general range is between 0.25% to 2% – and with possible muting 3% to 5%.  As long as you’re not sensitive to sucralose and want to use it as a sweetener, this is the one I recommend for less coil gunking and more moisture.

CAP (Capella) Super Sweet – This is the most commonly used sweetener in the commercial market because it is an extremely concentrated version of sucralose, but it is also gunks coils faster due to preservatives required for it to be water-based. It is drier and thinner than the other sweeteners. Generally 0.25% to 1% is what most DIYers use, but commercial recipes could be upwards of 2% and 3% of this flavor for serious sugar lips level sweetness. So, if you’re coming into DIY off of super-sweetened commercial juice this may be the sweetener you will recognize the most in your mixes.

FLV (Flavorah) Sweetness – This is a sweetener we are pretty uncertain about in general. There are claims that Sweetness is nothing more than another sucralose blended sweetener, but most DIYers who are using it consider it to be a Stevia-based sweetener. While it may contain sucralose, it behaves nothing like sucralose in mixes, and if used too high it will give bitter stevia off-notes. It is super concentrated, so you’ll find yourself using 0.1% to 0.5% max before it may start causing some problems. The sweetness will also build as it steeps, something that the sucralose based sweeteners do not seem to do (they soften but don’t gain significant amounts of sweetness.) Over-sweetening with this concentrate, because it doesn’t taste sweet enough when freshly mixed, may result in a steeped juice that is simply far to sweet. So use this with caution.

Our Top Picks for Flavors in each Profile Category

Base Flavors

  • CAP Sugar Cookie V1
  • DF Sugar cookie
  • FA Cookie
  • TFA Graham Cracker Clear
  • TFA Cheesecake (Graham Cracker Crust)
  • FA Graham Crust
  • FA Zeppola
  • CAP Cinnamon Danish Swirl
  • FLV Cinnamon Roll
  • FLV Cupcake Batter
  • PUR Simply Cake
  • JF Yellow Cake
  • TFA Vanilla Cupcake
  • CAP Vanilla Cupcake V1
  • FA Breakfast Cereals
  • DF Cereal Base
  • FA Apple Pie
  • OOO Pie Crust

Bakery Extras:

  • FLV Frosting
  • FLV Blueberry Muffin
  • FLV Sweet Dough
  • FA Nonna Cake
  • OOO Powdered Sugar
  • FLV Rich Cinnamon
  • CAP Cinnamon Sugar

Caramels, Chocolates, and Vanillas:

  • VTA Chocolate Milk
  • FA Chocolate Glazed Donut
  • TFA Ruby Chocolate
  • TFA Chocolate (plain/clear)
  • HS Australian Chocolate
  • JF Milk Chocolate
  • FLV Butterscotch
  • FA Butterscotch
  • FW Butterscotch
  • FW Butterscotch Ripple
  • CC Creme Caramel
  • CC Salted Caramel
  • FA Caramel
  • CAP Caramel V1
  • FW Caramel Cinnamon Roll
  • FA Vanilla Classic
  • FLV Smooth Vanilla
  • FLV Vanilla Bean
  • TFA Vanilla Swirl
  • DIYFS Holy Vanilla

 

Stand Alone Bakery Flavors

and One shots

  • RFSC French Toast
  • RFSC Strawberry Jam on Toast
  • CAP Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble
  • FLV Biscotti
  • FLV Apple Filling
  • Bake Sale (by Jenn Jarvis at ECX)
  • OOO Bananas Gone Nuts

Milks and Straight Creams

  • FA Fresh Cream
  • FA Vienna Cream
  • OOO Cream Milky Undertones
  • FLV Sweet Cream
  • FLV Cream
  • OOO Whole Milk

Flavored Creams

  • FW Bavarian Cream
  • FLV Strawberry and Cream
  • CAP Orange Creamcycle
  • TFA Vanilla Swirl
  • OOO Ice Cream – Butter Pecan
  • CAP Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • TFA Whipped Cream
  • OOO Whipped Cream or FLV Whipped Cream
  • OOO Rainbow Sherbet House version
  • CC/CCW Devon cream
  • CC/CCW Vanilla Fudge
  • VTA Vanilla Cream
  • FA Custard (lemon)

Custards/Puddings:

  • CAP Vanilla Custard V1
  • FLV Custard
  • FLV Vanilla Pudding
  • FE Sweet Rice

Ice Creams

  • FA Vanilla Gelato
  • TFA Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • FW Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • OOO Vanilla Ice Bean Ice Cream
  • LB Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Natural Type:

  • FA Red Touch
  • FA Juicy Strawberry
  • TFA Strawberry
  • FA Forest Fruit
  • TFA Strawberry Ripe
  • OOO Strawberry Kiwi
  • OOO Kiwi Natural
  • FA Kiwi
  • FA Red Summer (watermelon)
  • FLV Wild Melons
  • FLV Watermelon
  • CAP Double Watermelon
  • FA Cantaloupe melons
  • TFA Honeydew 1 & 2 (they are different)
  • TFA Blueberry Wild
  • FW Blueberry (though it doubles as candyish)
  • FLV Grape (goes for candy too)
  • DF Grape
  • TFA Grape Candy
  • TFA Grape Juice
  • FA Fuji
  • FLV Red Apple
  • PUR Country Apple
  • OOO Apple Gala
  • HS Apple Mix
  • FA White Peach
  • TFA DX Juicy Peach
  • FA Apricot
  • FA Florida Key Lime
  • FLV Lime Wedge
  • FA Lemon Sicily
  • FE Lemon
  • FA Blood Orange
  • FA Mandarin
  • FW Blood Orange
  • FLV Mango
  • TFA Mango
  • FLV Pineapple
  • TFA Juicy Pineapple
  • FA Raspberry
  • FLV Red Raspberry
  • FLV Boysenberry
  • OOO Banana
  • DF Banana
  • FLV Banana

Candy Type:

  • CAP Sweet Strawberry
  • OOO Watermelon/DF Watermelon
  • FLV Peach Gummy
  • CAP 27 Bears
  • CAP Double Watermelon
  • FA King (black Currant candy one shot)
  • FA Jack (Strawberry Candy one shot)
  • TFA Blueberry Candy
  • CAP Blue Raspberry Cotton Candy
  • FW Blue Raspberry
  • LB Blue Raspberry
  • FW Cherry Crush
  • LA Blueberry
  • LA Raspberry
  • OOO Melon Gummy Candy
  • TFA Banana Ripe
  • FLV Apple Pop

Candy Flavors:

  • FLV Peppermint
  • FLV Spearmint
  • FA Spearmint
  • FA Peppermint
  • FLV Bubblegum
  • RF Bubblegum
  • TFA Bubblegum
  • OOO Blueberry Candy
  • CAP Blue Raspberry Cotton Candy
  • TFA Cotton Candy + (Circus Type)
  • CAP SL 27 Fish
  • CAP SL 27 Bears

Candifying Additives:

  • FA CAndy Jammy Wizard
  • CAP Jelly Roll
  • FLV Candy roll
  • FW Gummy Candy
  • TFA Sweet and Tart
  • FA Oba Oba
  • FA Sour Wizard
  • TFA Sour

Woody:

  • FLV Virginia Tobacco
  • FA Black Fire
  • FA Oakwood
  • FA Shade
  • FLV Oak Barrel
  • TFA Red Oak

Leafy:

  • FA Layton Blend
  • FA Royal
  • FA Cowboy Blend
  • FA Burley
  • FA Maxx Blend
  • FLV Dark Cure
  • FLV Kentucky Blend
  • FLV Native Tobacco
  • FLV Turkish Tobacco

Sweet:

  • TFA RY4Double
  • FA Ry4
  • FA Oryental 4
  • FLV Oriental Tobacco
  • HS RY4

Cigar:

  • FA Cuban Surpeme
  • FA Cigar Passion
  • FA Shade
  • FA Tuscan Reserve
  • FLV Connecticut Shade

Coffees and Teas

  • FA Cappuccino
  • FA Black Tea
  • FA Green Tea
  • FLV Black Tea
  • FLV Green Tea
  • PUR Caramel Coffee w/Sweet Cream
  • FLV Thai Chai Tea
  • RF Marsala Chai Tea

Cocktails:

  • FLV Sangria
  • FLV Morning Mimosa
  • FA Whiskey
  • FA Bourbon
  • FW Martini
  • VTA Botanical Gin
  • TFA Kentucky Bourbon
  • VTA Scotch Whiskey
  • FA Jamaican Special (Jamaican Rhum)
  • VTA Light Rum
  • TFA Jamaican Rum (Really it’s buttery rum)
  • TFA Absinthe
  • DV Absinthe
  • FLV Apple Cider
  • FW Blackberry Mojito
  • FA Hypnotic Mist
  • TFA Hypno Type
  • FA Irish Cream
  • FA Liquid Amber
  • FA Champagne

Creamy Drinks:

  • TFA Smooth Horchata
  • FLV Horchata
  • FLV Eggnog
  • DF Horchata
  • VTA Chocolate Milk
  • VTA Coffee Milk Froth
  • TFA Creme de Menthe
  • FLV Creme de Menthe
  • FLV Milk and Honey
  • FLV Strawberry Cream
  • VTA Yogurt Drink

Sodas and Fruit Drinks:

  • FA Cola
  • SC (Super Concentrate or FE – from China) Cola
  • WF Lemon- Lime Soda SC
  • VTA Lemonade Clear
  • VTA Lime Cordial
  • FA Citrus Mix
  • FLV Citrus Punch
  • FW Ecto Cooler
  • FLV Root Beer
  • FLV Tropical Punch
  • RF Soda Base (some people say it’s fizzy – taste perception is subjective.)

Deciding What to Buy

Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the listing, you’re probably feeling like there are a lot of possible flavors you may need to buy as a beginner.  This isn’t a full on shopping list, this is merely a suggestion list. We have separated it into profile types and then our top picks for each profile in order to make it easier for a new mixer to find.

We would suggest choosing about 20 to 25 flavors for your first order.  Select flavorings that can be found in your desired profiles.  If you want a bakery with some fruit flavors in it, look at the bakery list for 2 or 3 flavor options for your base layer, a couple from the cream section, and then choose a few natural fruits.  That would take care of one recipe that you’d like to make.  Maybe those same fruit flavors could work for another fruit only mix and then with the addition of a few candy flavors or additives you could make those natural fruit flavors more candy-like.  Now you have about 9 flavors in your cart.  From here you can choose a few more flavors that will work with your fruits, candies, and bakeries. For example, a fruity lemonade can be achieved with the addition of a lemonade flavor to your fruit mix. These can be found in the fruit beverage section.

You can continue selecting flavors that work together in several different profiles and in the end will give you the most flavor bang for your buck. There will always be a next order, because let’s face it, we have to collect them all. These lists can also be helpful if you’re looking at recipes other mixers have created, but they all use different flavorings.  It’s usually possible to substitute a flavor, so if you see a few recipes containing flavors from our list you can probably use them interchangeably. This will allow you to create more recipes with less flavors.

We highly suggest new mixers check out the recipe sites  ELR and ATF, join us on YouTube for our weekly live chat Wednesdays at 7pm EST, and check out our Facebook group and/or discord channel (where we often chat live with folks and answer questions most days of the week.) These resources are very helpful for beginners looking to connect with more experienced mixers and learn how to mix quickly and painlessly.  Remember that even the most experienced of us mix drain juice – recipes that just taste gross and get tossed. It happens. Everyone’s palate is different. Even if one strawberry is preferred by a lot of mixers, it may not be the one you personally like.  This hobby requires a lot of personal experimentation and that’s why our flavor purchasing never ends.

We took opinions from our team members and others from the community to give you a well-rounded lineup of starting flavors that are easy to work with.  An invaluable tip when you start mixing (if you’re not following another person’s recipes) is to start low. Use 1-2% and give that individual flavor a test, though with super concentrated flavors like Flavorah, 0.25% may be your starting point. You can always add more to that sample until it tastes right for your palate, but you can’t remove something once it’s in there unless you dilute it down by half and half again, but that is a lot of bottles to be used.  Remember to jot down the amount that you put in, and then design your own recipe with less than 5 flavors blended together in a way that works for you.  Don’t forget to use your nose and trust it. If something smells drastically off-putting in the bottle, there’s a good chance you’re not going to like it when vaped.

Consider picking up a few one-shots or flavorings that can work on their own. You can’t go wrong with a simple fruit or bakery concentrate that is great on it’s own, or one-shots created by mixers in the community. These can provide something readily available to vape while you craft your first recipes.  Mixing is fun, relaxing, and there is a community of experienced mixers that are happy to help you on your journey.  Join us – we have cookies.

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