Coke’s Original Recipe…Contained Essential Oils.

Via Tamara Star
on Feb 15, 2011
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Via Yahoo News~Brett Michael Dykes

One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: the radio show “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.

According to the show’s host, Ira Glass, the drink’s secret flavoring component, which was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, is something called “Merchandise 7X.” The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch.

The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area.

Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets…for the rest, click over to Yahoo News.

The Recipe.

Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

…the drink originally contained Coca leaves laced with cocaine. After Atlanta passed a local prohibition ordinance in the 1890s, the company took the booze out of the formula, and the company has used cocaine-free coca leaves since 1904.

When the beverage debuted in Atlanta-area pharmacies owned by friends of Pemberton, marketers pronounced it “a shot in the arm”– while Pemberton himself hailed it as a cure for cure pain, impotence and headaches. In our more enlightened age, of course, we know that Coke “adds life”–together with a dollop or two of neroli and nutmeg oil….


About Tamara Star

Tamara Star believes happiness is not an end destination, but instead the ability to see the ordinary through eyes of wonder.

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She’s been featured on SiriusXM radio, Good Morning America, former Oprah producer LeGrande Green’s GetBOLD radio, Dr. Brenda Wade’s GoodLove Radio, Daybreak USA and News Australia.

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Tamara’s work had been translated into 6 languages and featured on The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Positively Positive, Yahoo News, The Australia, The Good Men Project, and Yoga Anonymous.


3 Responses to “Coke’s Original Recipe…Contained Essential Oils.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amelia Timbers, Anandi A. Premlall. Anandi A. Premlall said: My, how times have changed: RT @elephantjournal Coke's original recipes… …contained essential oils! #elej […]

  2. Brad says:

    It is incorrect to state "coca leaves laced with cocaine" unless the coca leaves had purposefully been been augmented with refined cocaine. The isolation of the cocaine alkaloid was not achieved until 1855, and is only extracted through an involved process. Andean natives have for millennia used coca leaves to alleviate hunger and the effects of high altitude. You should not sensationalize "cocaine" in Coca Cola because it is not used, never has been, only coca leaves. Even in Peru, for example, you can get tea bags for mate de coca in the grocery store. Please try to be a little more accurate and a little less sensational.

  3. Tamara says:

    I say drink your Kombucha! But it is true, coca-cola contains trace amounts of coca leaf. see wiki below oh yum, chemically treated coca leaves…I imagine our gov looks the other way because coke is such a huge contributor of something or other…blech! *

    To this day, Coca-Cola uses a United States license to purify the coca leaf for medicinal use.[3] Because cocaine is naturally present in coca leaves, today's Coca-Cola uses "spent," or treated, coca leaves, those that have been through a cocaine extraction process, to flavor the beverage. The coca leaves are imported from countries like Peru and Bolivia, and they are treated by chemical company Stepan, which then sells the de-cocainized residue to Coca-Cola.[4] Some contend that this process cannot extract all of the cocaine alkaloids at a molecular level, and so the drink still contains trace amounts of the stimulant.[1][5] The Coca-Cola Company currently refuses to comment on the continued presence of coca leaf in Coca-Cola.[6][7] A court case in Antalya, Turkey mentioned cochineal dye in Coca-Cola, but the company denies it currently uses the dye.[8][9]

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