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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



February 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

Coca-Cola Recipe

The Original Coca-Cola Formula


This is Page 2 of a two-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.


Coca-Cola History

Now, producers of the Public Radio show “This American Life” claim to have uncovered the identity of Merchandise 7X. It’s a mix of seven ingredients.

How did they find it?

A February 18, 1979 article on the history of Coca-Cola, published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, included a photograph that was said to be a handwritten copy of the Pemberton Coca-Cola recipe, written in a friend’s leather-bound recipe book of remedies and ointments.*

*Source: Time magazine.

Here is the recipe, released by the producers; but remember that this is Pemberton’s tonic recipe, not the improved, tasty soft drink invented by Candler.

  • Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
  • Citric acid: 3 oz.
  • Caffeine: 1 oz.
  • Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
  • Water: 2.5 gallons
  • 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 gallons 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

Take a look at these old-fashioned medicine ads. The products used not just cocaine but heroin!

What Is Neroli Oil?

Neroli oil is an essential oil made from the blossom of a bitter orange or Seville orange tree (Citrus aurantium var. amara).

Bergamot oil, used to flavor Earl Grey tea, is made from the orange peel. Petitgrain oil, which is used in homeopathy to treat nerves, aches and pains, and skin, is made from the leaves and twigs.

An essential oil is one that conveys the characteristic fragrance of its plant. The word “essential” is used in the sense that it carries the essence of the plant.

The Seville orange tree yields neroli, bergamot and petitgrain oils. Photo courtesy


The Coca-Cola Bottle History

Instead of trying to recreate the original, we recommend that you purchase some Boylan’s Cane Cola. It has a wonderful old-fashioned taste that might be quite similar to Candler’s final product. Their sugar-free cola is just as delicious—you won’t know it’s sugar free.

Like Coca-Cola, Boylan’s is certified kosher. Read our review of Boylan Bottleworks, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.



Page 1: The History Of Coca-Cola

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