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Coca-Cola’s Secret Formula Discovered?

By 02.16.11

This American Life producers believe they have found the secret recipe for Coca-Cola.  An article about the company published in the February 18, 1979 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution included a picture which, upon closer inspection, appeared to be a hand-written recipe passed down from Coke inventor John Pemberton.  The recipe for Coke — particularly the “7X flavoring” mix of ingredients — is a closely guarded secret.  It’s rumored that only two employees are allowed to know the recipe, and those two employees aren’t allowed to travel together in case of an accident.  For example, they could both be accosted by a war-painted blogger screaming, “Give me the recipe and all the coca!”

Stuff 18 drams of the recipe into this 11 dram bottle, Geekosystem:

Recipe:

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

7X Flavor:

  • Alcohol: 8 oz
  • Orange oil: 20 drops
  • Lemon oil: 30 drops
  • Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
  • Coriander: 5 drops
  • Neroli: 10 drops
  • Cinnamon: 10 drops

Mmmm, orange oil.  Floor polish and dessert topping.

Anyway, when This American Life did a taste test (without the CO-F***ING-CAINE!), many testers had trouble telling real Coke and this recipe apart.  But, in fairness, they may have been using the wrong administration method:

[Pictures via Buzzfeed and BioTV]


TAGSATLANTACOCA-COLAcocainecokeJOHN PEMBERTONthis american life

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