Make a left at the coke and end up at natural deliciousness

Coca-Cola wasn't always a sugary- one minute its refreshing, the next minute you are regretting the day you popped that cap-drink. It has a long and interesting history.

It was invented by a confederate soldier turned pharmacist named John Pemberton in the civil war. He was wounded in the war and became addicted to the morphine they gave him for the pain. After the war, he sought a substitute for his dependency and developed “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca” It consisted of coca leaves that were soaked in alcohol which helped to release the cocaine. He combined this with kola nut as a source of caffeine, and the damiana plant which is believed to cure impotency.

During the prohibition Pemberton had to find a way to create his drink without using alcohol. This alcohol free version of his drink was the first stages of Coca-Cola. It wasn’t until the late 19th century when the prohibition of cocaine was introduced. Pemberton had to change his recipe again. It was this version that is similar to what some drink today.

The original recipe of Coca-cola is a secret, locked in a vault, in which it is said Pemberton told exactly four people before his death in 1888. In 1891 Asa Candler purchased the rights to Pemberton’s formula and created The Coca-Cola Company. He made some changes to the original recipe which improved the flavor. It was in this time that this drink was branded as a “nerve and brain tonic”. It was also prescribed for headaches because of its “medicinal properties”. It was in 1903 that all cocaine was removed from the product leaving the caffeine as the sole stimulant, and all medical claims were dropped. In 1911 The United States sued Coca-Cola under the Food and Drug Act claiming that the coca-cola syrup was harmful to death. The Supreme Court favored on the side of Coca-cola but they agreed to reduce the amount of caffeine in the syrup.

The company still keeps its recipe locked away. It is rumored that only two people at a time will be sworn in with this secret. Many people have tried to extract what is exactly in Coca-cola and the following are some flavor profile guesses.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Caramel Coloring


Phosphoric acid

Essential oils of Orange, lime, lemon, lavender

There are notes of vanilla and cinnamon

Trace amounts of Nutmeg essential oil

The kola nut in itself has notes of cinnamon, lemon, orange neroli, coriander, nutmeg, and vanilla

Interesting facts:

  • It was in the 1980s that Coca-Cola started using High-Fructose Corn Syrup instead of Cane Sugar.

  • In 1935 Beef Tallow was replaced by vegetable glycerin and therefore certified as kosher. Although in 1980 the switch to high-fructose corn syrup renders it kitniyot therefore can no longer be identified as kosher.

Pemberton Original Recipe (Speculated)


1 oz (28g) Caffeine citrate

3 oz (85 g) Citric Acid

1 US fl oz (30 ml) Vanilla Extract

1 US qt (946 ml) Lime juice

2.5 oz (71 g) "flavoring" (i.e., "Merchandise 7X")

30 lb (14 kg) Sugar

4 US fl oz (118.3 ml) fluid extract of coca leaves (flavor essence of the coca leaf)

2.5 US gal (9.5 l; 2.1 imp gal) water

Carmel sufficient to give color

"Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool."

Flavoring (Merchandise 7X):

1 qrt alcohol

80 oil orange

40 oil cinnamon

120 oil lemon

20 oil coriander

40 oil nutmeg

40 oil neroli

"Let stand 24 hours.”

Over the years it has changed.

Merory Recipe:

Mix 5lbs (2.3kg) of sugar with just enough water to dissolve the sugar fully (high-fructose corn syrup may be substituted for half of the sugar

Add 1 1/4 ox (35g) of Carmel, 1/10 oz (3g) caffeine, and 2/5oz (11g) phosphoric acid

Extract the cocaine from 5/8 drachm (1.1g) of coca leaf; discard the cocaine extract

Soak the coca leaves and kola nuts (both finely powdered; 1/5 drachm (0.35g) in 3/4oz (21g) of 20% alcohol.

After soaking; discard the coca and kola and add the liquid to the syrup.

Add 1oz (28g) lime juice or a water solutions of citric acid

1/4 drachm (0.44g) orange oil

1/10 drachm (0.18g) cassia (Chinese cinnamon) oil

1/2 drachm (0.89g) Lemon oil

2/5 drachm (0.71g) nutmeg oil



Lavender oils

Add 1/10 oz (2.8g) water to the oil mixture and let stand for 24 hours at about 60*F (16*C). A cloudy layer will separate

Take off the the clear part of the liquid only and add to the syrup.

Add 7/10 oz (20g) glycerin (from vegetable source, not hot fat, so the drink can be sold to the Jews and Muslims who their respective religion’s dietary restrictions) and 3/10 drachm (0.53g) of vanilla extract.

Add water (treated with chlorine) to make a gallon of syrup.

Beal Recipe:

Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams

Citric acid: 3oz

Caffeine: 1oz

Sugar: 30 lbs

Water: 2.5 gal

Lime juice: 2pints (1quart)

Vanilla: 1oz

Carmel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7x flavor: (use 2oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):

Alcohol: 8oz

Orange oil: 20 drops

Cinnamon oil: 10 drops

Lemon oil: 30 drops

Coriander oil: 5 drops

Nutmeg oil: 10 drops

Neroli oil: 10 drops

1 quart water

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

3 large (5-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces

2 tablespoons dried bitter orange peel

2 teaspoons coriander seed

1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon gum arabic (optional)

2 pounds sugar

1/4 cup browning sauce, such as Kitchen Bouquet

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

My natural recipe:

In 1 quart jar

Add 1/4 cup of molasses and 2/3 cup of honey

Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 2 oranges

Stir and set aside in a warm cupboard for about a week.

On the 7th day

Boil 1 quart of water

Seep 1/4 t of grated nutmeg

2t dried orange peel

2t coriander seed

2t Lemon Zest

1t Lime zest

3 large cinnamon pieces

Leave uncovered for 4 hours and then place a lid on it and slap in a

cool area or fridge for 24 hours

Strain the liquid

Add 1/2t Vanilla Extract

And Honey until you get a syrup consistency.

Add the desired amount to carbonated water and enjoy!

There is nothing like a cold beverage that you concocted with alchemy and without the illicit drugs and harmful side effects from ingredients with names most of us cannot pronounce.

Live Happy, Love always, Eat Naturally


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