Coca-Cola's Top Secret Formula Revealed?


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The radio show This American Life has revealed the original Coca-Cola recipe—a secret the soda company has carefully guarded for more than 100 years. The show says Coca-Cola creator John Pemberton’s 1886 recipe was quietly published in 1979 in the Atlanta Constitution-Journal and no one noticed at the time. It has two parts. The first includes “fluid extract of coca,” citric acid, caffeine, sugar, water, lime juice, vanilla, and caramel. The second, called “7X,” includes alcohol, orange oil, lemon oil, nutmeg oil, coriander, neroli, and cinammon.

coca-cola2brecipe-7530143For over a century now, the Coca-Cola formula is one of the most fiercely guarded trade secrets of the corporate world. Many claimed to have found it. And you will find quite a few such claimants on the internet. But the mystery and mystique of Merchandise 7X, the name given to the combination of secret ingredients which gives the soft drink its distinctive taste, has endured.

Now an American public radio show claims to have found the recipe kept in an Atlanta steel vault and which, it is said, only two employees of the company at a time know how to mix. For obvious reasons, the two never fly together.

‘This American Life’, broadcast on more than 500 stations to 1.7 million listeners, said it found the list of ingredients in a 40-year-old newspaper. On its website,, it said the newspaper, named Atlanta Journal-Constitution, had published the photo of a book containing a handwritten replica of the original recipe on February 8, 1979.

The recipe, from “This American Life”

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 ozOrange oil: 20 dropsLemon oil: 30 dropsNutmeg oil: 10 dropsCoriander: 5 dropsNeroli: 10 dropsCinnamon: 10 dropsThe long story of Coke’s secret formula begins with Pemberton, a veteran from Georgia who emerged from the Civil War with a morphine addiction. Hoping to cure his ailment, he dreamed up Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, a brew that included kola nut and coca wine. But in 1886, as Atlanta passed prohibition legislation, he reformulated the drink without alcohol, renamed it Coca-Cola, and began selling it in Georgia pharmacies.Asa Candler, an early president of the Coca-Cola company who bought the formula in 1887, worried rivals would obtain the recipe so insisted no one ever write it down again. Staff removed all labels from ingredient containers and identified them by sight and smell only. Candler even went through the company mail so he could shred invoices that employees might attempt to sell to other drink makers.


1886: Dr John Pemberton produced the syrup for for Coca-Cola and carried a jug down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sold for 5 cents a glass1906: Countries outside the US – Cuba, Canada ana Panama – began bottling the drink1916: The iconic contour bottle – so distinctive it could be recognised in the dark – was introduced to distinguish Coca-Cola from competitors1931: Artist Haddon Sundblom’s Santa Claus first appeared in ads for Coca-Cola. This image of Santa – shown as a plump, jolly, friendly man – helped shape the modern-day image of St. Nick1969: The Beatles name-checked Coca-Cola in their song Come Together1982: Soft-drink history was made with the introduction of Diet Coke, the most successful new soft drink since Coca-Cola itself. Within two years, Diet Coke had become the top low-calorie soft drink in the world1985: The drink became the first soft drink to be consumed in space when astronauts tested the Coca-Cola Space Can aboard Space Shuttle Challenger2006: Cheryl Cole signed up to promote Coca-Cola’s sugar free drink Coke ZeroPresent: The world’s top soft drinks maker reported a net income of £3.58bn for the fourth quarter of 2010

Read more story:

1. Site claims to have uncovered Coca-Cola’s top secret formula