“Jinx! Buy me a Coke”: John Pemberton and the Origins of Coca-Cola

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“The street cleared momentarily. Folding his paper under his arm, the elderly man crossed the street before another buggy bounced through the intersection. As he put his key into the lock at 107 Marietta Street, a young man briskly lifted his hat on his way by. ‘Good day, Dr. Pemberton. Hot enough for you, sir?’ The old gentleman nodded and smiled. Everyone in Atlanta knew and respected the kindly old patent medicine man, and most took one of his remedies for their cough, dyspepsia, headache, sexual debility, or whatever else ailed them.

As Pemberton entered his laboratory, he looked with satisfaction at his fresh supply of coca leaves, straight from Peru, and at the filtering system he had set up to produce coca extract. He was experimenting with a new concoction, one that he hoped would sell as a temperance drink and medicine, because the town was in hysteria over the evils of alcohol.”1

In a world of elixirs, potions, and artificially flavored concoctions, there is one beverage that has successfully managed to steal the hearts of billions and carve its rightful home into the lives of many the world over. This drink could cure any ailment and fix any problem, all while providing that extra good feeling after a long and stressful day at the office or at home. Made for people of all ages, this magic beverage had slowly started to gain in popularity, and before you knew it, this drink had become a household staple. Can you guess the name of this iconic beverage? If you guessed Coca-Cola, then you’ve guessed right. However, the drink that is recognized and loved today is not the same that it was when it had originally started. The history of Coca-Cola is a long one, full of secrets, lies, and ingredients that may shock even the most loyal of supporters.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Early Coca Cola Syrup and Extract Advertisement | Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Created in 1886 by an old Southern root doctor from Atlanta Georgia, John Pemberton, the famous Coca Cola drink has had a history of humble beginnings, being first created in a three-legged kettle in Pemberton’s backyard rather than in the hi-tech industrial factories that we recognize today. Wilbur Kurtz, the first person to ever try Coca-Cola, described the experience of that moment by stating that, “He leaned over the pot to smell the bouquet of his brew. Then he took a long wooden spoon and captured a little of the thick brown bubbling contents of the pot, allowing it to cool a moment. He lifted the spoon to his lips and tasted.”2 Surprisingly enough, the invention of this beverage was something of an accident; although John Pemberton put a lot of hard work and perseverance into the creation of Coca-Cola, finding the right taste was a stroke of luck when the syrup was accidentally mixed with carbonated water rather than plain water.3 Imagine! That extra kick signaled by the tingling sensation that occurs as the liquid flows down our throats was nothing but a simple mistake. Yet, it is one that we could not imagine having resulted otherwise. According to the reactions of Pemberton’s customers, it was proven that the beloved carbonated drink provided him with an assured influx of clients, having smacked their lips in satisfaction every time a new “pop” was made when opening a brand new Coca-Cola bottle.3 At least, this was the story the company tried to sell to its millions of fans all across America.

The history of Coca-Cola is paved with fabricated stories set up by the company as an advertising mechanism so as to sell more and more bottles of the product every day. The truth of the matter is that Cola-Cola was nothing but one of the many products marketed as a “patent medicine” with a distinct cocaine kick.5 While it remains true that Pemberton was the original creator of the Coca-Cola beverage, the story of him creating the iconic drink in his backyard is a great stretch from the truth. What may come as an even greater surprise is the notion that the first samples of Coca-Cola, in its stages as a medicine, were actually made with cocaine. New research sheds light on this approach by claiming that the recent discovery of once-classified documents by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics reveals that Peru was the largest producer of both coca and cocaine; and Coca-Cola, and its partner the Maywood Chemical Clinic of New Jersey, has had extensive relations with Peru predating 1903.6 By the 1950’s, Coca-Cola had tried to deny any allegations of the brand’s association with the usage of the Andean coca-leaf in its beverage, which it claimed to have de-cocainized its formulas since 1903.6 Nevertheless, this statement alone proves that Coca-Cola, whether or not it continues to use coca leaves in its mixtures up to this day, is guilty of having used cocaine in its mixtures over a seventeen-year period, from 1886 to 1903. For this reason, Coca-Cola is thought have had a high stake in US-Peruvian drug diplomacy. The recent discovery of a cryptic telegram from Lima dated from 16 February 1933 and addressed to the then chief attorney and vice-president of Coca-Cola, Harold Hirsch, states,”ACCORDING TO YOUR LETTER COCAINE BURNED TODAY AMERICAN CONSULATE PERUVIAN OFFICIAL MYSELF WRITING.” This document was later revealed to have been a secret project in which Peruvian coca leaves were burned in order to create an experimental extract called Merchandise No. 5, a de-cocainized version necessary for creating the beverage.8 As interest began to grow in the company’s “secret formula,” Asa Candler, the then president of the ever-expanding Coca Cola company, had to find a way to deal with the public’s fear of cocaine and he effectively did so by eliminating all traces of the drug from the drink by the early 1900’s. Interestingly enough, it was stated that the company had to receive a special exemption from the United States’ anticocaine legislation for the importation of “de-cocainized coca leaves or preparations made therefrom.”9 Why would a company who claims to have rid itself of any traces of cocaine need a special permit to continue importing specially formulized leaves into the United States? Apparently, Coca-Cola had the responsibility of obtaining the right to import the “special leaves” for its partner company, the Maywood Chemical Works. The Maywood Chemical Works was a company primarily associated with the importation of special leaves from Peru that were later discovered to have been specifically reserved for coca leaf extract in beverages. During that time this company was the only legal purchaser of these special coca leaves from Peru, and it was no coincidence that the Coca-Cola company happened to be its partner company and primary customer. While the truth of Coca-Cola’s continued usage of cocaine via coca leaves still remains a topic of debate, the traces left behind serve as evidence that there were instances of relations between the company and the product.

Replica of 1899 Coke Bottles | Photo by Brent Moore | Courtesy of Flickr

Another revealing fact lending itself to the usage of cocaine in the beloved carbonated beverage is in the name of Coca-Cola itself. By the mid 1900’s, the name Coca-Cola was seen as being synonymous with the term “dope,” a word previously found to mean any “preparation of mixture or drug, especially one that is harmful.”10 In addition to this, a quotation from Printer’s Ink, a California-based magazine focused on American trade, revealed that by the year 1915, Americans were already getting used to calling Coca-Cola, their favorite drink, by the terms ‘dope’ or ‘coke’ or ‘koke.’ Clearly, Americans were, to a certain extent, aware of the potential contents of their beverages; even more so that they went so far as to create nicknames for it. To continue with this new period in coke history, a quote from an Erskine Caldwell novel in 1931 stated, “Everybody likes Coca-Cola. There is nothing better to drink on a hot day, if the dopes are cold.”11 By this time, not only were Americans familiar with the term dope, but the popularity of its relation with the Coca-Cola brand was so strong that it had managed to carve its way into various corners of society, such as literature. Additionally, the use of the word dope in American slang mostly circulated in the Southeastern region of the United States, more specifically the areas of Georgia, North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, which were, to no surprise, the areas in which most drugstores and soda shops were commonly referred to as ‘dope shops’ by the general public.12 Since the reach of Coca-Cola was strongest in the South, it was natural for the term dope to catch on fairly quickly in those areas.

However, what remains to be true about the world-renowned brand is the fact that it was originally invented in the years following the American Civil War as well as the fact that it was first sold at drugstore fountains and promoted as a drink to cure various ailments. And, while the soft drinks that were first marketed as medicines did in fact contain questionable ingredients, they have changed quite extensively over the years, while maintaining their unique brand names through their respective transformations. Additionally, when Pemberton first created the Coca-Cola drink in 1886, he wished to create a beverage that would help alleviate not only his own medical ailments but also those of his customers.13

Although Coca-Cola has denied any claims of continuing the usage of coca leaves in their iconic beverage, the question as to whether or not there are still traces of cocaine in the beverage still remain a mystery. The history of the brand is, without a doubt, a very long one, filled with many secrets and suspicious actions. Their history of the use of cocaine in Coca-Cola helps to provide an insight as to the company’s continued usage of it in their product. However, one thing still remains true up to this day; a freshly opened bottle of Coca-Cola still possesses the power to put a smile on the face of anyone who is daring enough to take a sip of this dangerously delicious drink.

  1. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It (New York: Basic Books, 2013), 5.
  2. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It (New York: Basic Books, 2013), 6.
  3. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It (New York: Basic Books, 2013), 7.
  4. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It (New York: Basic Books, 2013), 7.
  5. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It (New York: Basic Books, 2013), 8.
  6. Paul Gotenberg, “Secret Ingredients: The Politics of Coca in US-Peruvian Relations, 1915-65,” Journal Of Latin American Studies 36, no. 2 (May 2004): 234.
  7. Paul Gotenberg, “Secret Ingredients: The Politics of Coca in US-Peruvian Relations, 1915-65,” Journal Of Latin American Studies 36, no. 2 (May 2004): 234.
  8. Christopher W. Wells, “Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism,” Business History Review, no. 1 (2016): 235.
  9. Christopher W. Wells, “Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism,” Business History Review, no. 1 (2016): 116-118.
  10. James W. Tuttleton and Louise M. Ackerman, “Coca-Cola and Dope: An Etymology,” American Speech, 1963, 153.
  11. Ernest Caldwell, American Earth (California: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1931), 21.
  12. James W. Tuttleton and Louise M. Ackerman, “Coca-Cola and Dope: An Etymology,” American Speech, 1963, 154.
  13. Gale Group, “When there was really coke in Coca-Cola! (Snake Oil!),” Skeptic 9, no. 3 (2002): 99.
“Jinx! Buy me a Coke”: John Pemberton and the Origins of Coca-Cola
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“Jinx! Buy me a Coke”: John Pemberton and the Origins of Coca-Cola

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54 Comments

  • This story was very shocking to me. I had no idea what some of the early Coca-Cola drinks contained as ingredients, it is honestly terrifying to think about that because that makes me wonder what other things I consume that I don’t know what’s used to make them, and what dangerous ingredients could be used and harming my body. I feel more aware of what I should be consuming and keeping an eye on ingredients that are used.

  • When I think of a soft drink I automatically think of a Coca-Cola bottle with its bubbly goodness inside. I’m not that much of a soda drinker but I got to say that it’s very cool and refreshing. I have heard countless times that at one point that Coca-Cola used to use coca leaves aka cocaine in their soda. No wonder it is so addictive. Jokes aside, we know that there is no trace of cocaine in their sodas today but you can only imagine back in the day people must have been hooked on it. Coca-Cola is very secretive about their secret formula and it makes sense that they would be. Your article was very interesting and it was a good read.

  • As a coca-cola lover, this article immediately caught my eye and it didn’t disappoint at all. Its so amazing to hear that this soda phenomenon came from such humble beginnings. John Pemberton must have truly been a special man to come across such a historical finding by accident. I never knew that cocaine was an ingredient for a while but maybe thats why people have become so addicted. Well written article.

  • I really enjoyed learning about the background of such an iconic, and popular drink. I love how this drink is such a staple for so many cultures around the world. I find it entertaining that most inventions came to be by accident. I really liked this article, and the extensive research done for it. I never even knew it was intended to be medicine.

  • I really enjoyed this article, although I did find it hard to follow at some times. I learned a lot, I did not know that Coca-Cola had tried to release a romanticized version of their creation story. I also did not know that the drink was originally used as medicine before making its way to an everyday beverage. I knew that Coca-Cola had at one point used cocaine as an ingredient but I was unaware that it led to Coca-Cola products and the word dope to be used synonymously.

  • I was reading the article and was in awe of how I thought Coca-Cola was made. Little did I know that this isn’t the case. This article truly informed me on the reality of the origin or the Coca-Cola company. I had no idea that cocaine was originally used in the popular beverage, and maybe still be used in it today. That’s insane!

  • The introductory paragraph is very engaging and fun to read. It introduces you to the topic with out giving to much away. The rest of the article is very informative on the history of Coca-Cola. It explains how much of its history is obscured with the companies advertising making it difficult to discern fact from truth. Over all this was a very well written article.

  • What an interesting history of one of the most iconic sodas, I never knew that the old rumor Coca-cola was made with cocaine was real, I only ever took it with the grain of salt. But now I see there are so many other unknown facts of the soda that were previously unknown, such as the carbonation being an accident and not done on purpose.

  • I previously was aware of coke’s use as a health product. Perhaps it had something to do with the wide availability of cocaine. I was able to visit the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta recently, and learned more than I would ever want to know. Coke has a rather dark and sordid past. It might be frightening to learn of the scope and diversity of Coca Cola’s power. Thank you for recounting the history behind it.

  • I really enjoyed that the first paragraph interacts with the reader by asking a question. its a very involving and strays from the usual narrative style. I love the description provided for what coke looked and smelled like. The successive paragraph following that gives a description of the coke being swallowed really was a visual. Much of the article allows me to imagine as if I was there and provides a description for what is occurring. I very much enjoyed knowing that it originally was for medicinal use. Much about coke described here I had no knowledge of. This included that for a time period the drug coke was placed in the drink. It Brought me to wonder what effects those people had at the time.

  • Well, Coca-Cola is one of my favorite soft drink. I really like the way how you have presented your article. The article provides descriptive details about its history, making process and more. To hear cocaine as an ingredient and it being originally used as patent medicine is kind of surprising for me. Furthermore, I really liked the way how you have planned your article from start to end. It instantly grabbed my attention. To sum it up, it was an informative and a good read.

  • The title was such an instant eye catcher, must most importantly the story. Coca-Cola is a brand that has been around for a long time, but to think it’s purposes were for it to be a medicine, really makes you think about the way in which it is used now in days. Ever since I was little my grandparents would tell me Coca-Cola was originally medicine and it really made me think… well why the transition? You hear so many cases in modern day of people being addicted in some type of way to this beverage, not only is it refreshing but it leaves you wanting more. The fact that Coca-Cola once used Cocaine as an addictive really took me by surprise, but as you think about it, cocaine is a drug that is known to be addictive and putting it into the beverage or medicine at the time, really makes sense, it would also be addicting. Overall Coca-Cola has gained it supporters and has continued to prosper ever since it’s invention, and to think it was all a simple mistake that welcomed the evolution of this drink into the world.

  • Catchy title and lots of information, good job with your research! I honestly did not know any of those facts about the coca-cola company. It was interesting to learn about the making of coke and the nicknames it was given, but I feel that the article dragged on and could be shortened some more. However, with all of the information given it left me no questions and a full understanding on what happened from when Dr. Pemberton created the drink through when it was involved with Peru and so on.

  • Great article! Very interesting and a little silly. The twist at the beginning of the article really caught my attention from the get go and made me want to continue reading! Coca Cola is truly the most profound drink of the society today. everyone around the world knows what coca cola is and people all tend to fall in love with it. people actually have to become un addicted to a soda. Great article topic!

  • As one of the most successful marketing and branding products in history, Coca-cola reinforces the idea that the ability to get the consumer to consistently buy for such a long period of time is one of the biggest successes a business can achieve. You hear and see Coca-Cola advertisements everywhere and the contributions in the article assure that its notoriety will not disappear for a very long time. It’s often a good idea to see what works in the world of business and one must look no further for a entertaining and credible source than Coca-Cola.

  • I had no idea that Coca Cola had such an extensive and dark past. I always thought the original story of it being created right in his backyard and him creating the drink on accident. This article was engaging and interesting to me because it revealed so many new and surprising facts about the soft drink. For instance, I had no idea that Americas favorite soft drink was supposedly made up of coca leaves. A revelation like this one is mind boggling to me because I personally never thought that rumors like this one might be true.

  • A well thought out and put together article. Amazing use of the fabricated backstory the Coke industry originally used. I always knew that cocaine had been an ingredient but not how the actual creation of coke was an accident. Its hard to think that the most iconic drink of this day and age may never have existed. However its not hard to imagine that a company tried to cover up its dark secret.

  • I really enjoyed that there was so much detail throughout the article. My attention was grasped for the article’s entirety and I really felt that I was reading a story more than straight facts about a topic. Coca Cola is my favorite drink, and I cannot believe there are so many things about it that I did not know. I was aware about the cocaine speculation but I thought they were all rumors, I had no idea there was some truth behind them. It is so crazy to think about this soda’s beginning being so controversial, especially now when this soda may be the most popular in the entire world.

  • This was a very fun article to read, and yet it was still filled with facts and the whole background as to how John Pemberton started his company. It’s crazy to read how this company is filled with many secrets and how we are still unsure as to what exactly the ingredients are. Some people drink a bottle of Coca-Cola every day and probably don’t even know what it contains.

  • Interesting. I knew Coca-Cola was once sold as a health tonic. I remember being told as a kid that Coca-Cola was originally made with cocaine in it, to get people hooked. I had no idea there might be international politics involved in Coca-Cola’s history. It makes me wonder if any (relatively) new beverage companies operating now have such secrets. What’s really interesting is that despite its addictive origins, Coca-Cola is not the worlds most consumed beverage. Then again, the original recipe may be far too expensive to produce now.

  • I feel that this article is written just for me. I am a Coke lover, so the tittle automaticly caught my attention. I already knew that soft drink like Coca Cola contained cocaine. Without cocaine, there will not be any “coke”. But what I did not know was that Coca Cola was created for medication by Pemberton. It is also fascinating to know that there are so many truths and lies behind the history of the famous drink “coca cola”. Thank you for a great article!

  • Coca-Cola: A beverage that almost everyone in the world likes to indulge in. I find it unbelievable that cocaine was one of the ingredients for the first 17 years in coca- cola. I had always heard about the allegation, However, I just always thought it was a way for people to explicate the obsession with the drink. I also find it fascinating that these soft drinks were created by doctors to heal different illnesses and bring smiles. Even so in present time, these things are still somewhat true, many people are addicted to Coca-Cola, and it brings smiles to many. This was a very descriptive article that definitely taught me a thing or two about the history of Coca- Cola.

  • Very interesting article! I have heard about the company’s past and the usage of cocaine in the product, but I never knew there was such a conspiracy theory about when they stopped and the motive behind it all. It’s crazy how an accidental recipe has turned into an international icon of refreshment that has stood the test of time through the ages.

  • Great topic. I knew for awhile that cocaine was used during the first production period of Coca-Cola, however I did not know the dates, and I did not know that it was such high controversy, for there was potential for the company to be involved with other drug related things. Although, no matter the rough start Coca-Cola had, it will always be loved and have the “hearts of billions around the world.”

  • This article was a very entertaining read! I really appreciate this article straightening out the story behind Coca-Cola. I had always heard different rumors about the initial creation of Coke but I was never too sure about it, and now reading this article it all makes much more sense. I am still in shock about the fact that Coca-Cola originally had actual cocaine in it, I know I had heard that rumor before but now reading the confirmation of this I am completely blown away!!

  • The title absolutely caught my attention and i just had to read it ! I love how this article explained very clearly a “rumor” about the use of such an addictive drug in the drink itself and how Pemberton came about creating the drink. The read itself was fun and had a very upbeat tone, even when talking about such a serious claim, it managed to keep me interested and made me keep reading and even wanting to go online and research the topic even more. It was a very well written article.

  • This article is a bundle of fun from beginning to end. The title sets the mood for the rest of the article. its fascinating how well you described the accidental discovery of coke in the intro. Personally, I always thought it was a myth that coke contained actual cocaine, but now I know it did. Not just that, but the fact that Pemberton created coke as a form of medication was just astonishing. Overall this lighthearted article was a perfect read in my opinion.

  • I had heard rumors about coca-cola using ‘coke’ in their beverage and reading this article confirmed all those rumors. This is so crazy to me because those people were so infatuated with coke it only makes sense – looking back now – that they loved it that much because they couldn’t get enough of it! I thought the was a very well written informative article that kept me intrigued and surprised me with its content! Great Work!!!

  • Your article was both fascinating and mind-blowing! I cannot believe that my favorite fizzy drink has such a sordid history, and it all happened by accident. You did a wonderful job of hooking the reader and keeping them interested in your story of crime, lies, mystery and drugs. It makes you wonder what other all-American staples have similar histories.

  • I have always heard rumors of Coca-Cola and was not sure if any of them were true. This article proves that the rumors about the cocaine and how the creation of Coca-Cola was actually accidental. I thought that this article did a good job of telling the story of Coke at the beginning stages. Some accidents like this one found by John Pemberton would continue to leave a giant impact on the modern era today.

  • Coca-Cola has such an interesting history. I had no idea that cocaine was used in their drinks. The company getting an exemption from the United States to import the “special” leaves is defiantly a questionable move from the company. It defiantly made me think about what other soda companies use for their “secret” ingredient. I thought that it was fascinating about how there are fabricated stories about how the formula was created. Also, it is crazy to think that the drink was originally made as a medicine to help relieve certain medical ailments.

  • I and always heard that Coke had actual cocaine in it throughout conversations. I never knew whether it was true or not. I also figured that Coke used the ingredient up until the late 60’s or so, but this article proves otherwise. It brings much thought as to how Coke would make a person feel when it was first being produced and distributed.

  • This article provided fascinating details about one of the most famous beverages in the world. The emergence of Coca-Cola’s popularity over other beverages is quite surprising, because many drug agencies sought to prove that the beverages delicious ingredients contained cocaine. However, all customers including myself are extremely fortunate that drug agencies failed to find any traces of cocaine in Coca-Cola. I could not imagine a world without the thirst quenching sensation that Coca-Cola products continue to provide.

  • Before reading this article, I was somewhat aware of the rumors that revolved around the Coca-Cola company of the company’s use of cocaine in their products. I thought it was just a folk-tale so I was surprised when I read that for 17 years, 1886 to 1903, the company was in fact guilty of having used cocaine in the beverage. I was also very surprised to find out that one of the signature characteristics of the drink was an accident-when the mixture was accidentally combined with carbonated water rather than regular water. Another major shock was to find out that it’s intended purpose, when it was first created, was to be a “patent medicine” with a kick of cocaine.

  • This was a great article, Coke is definitely my favorite soda so it was interesting to learn more about its history. It is shocking that the beverage used to contain real cocaine! I have heard some people say that it did contain cocaine, but I never believed them because it sounded way too crazy to even be true. I like that Coke was an accidental creation, it is funny to hear stories where people come across a great invention as an accident.

  • This article serves as proof that despite all the negative things that are said about Coca-Cola, it remains one of the most popular and most commonly advertised products out there. It’s interesting to know that all the nicknames that we have given Coca-Cola have dated back to the 1900s. Despite all of the health controversy, Coca-Cola is still so popular.

  • The introductory paragraph of this article caught my attention right away. The imagery you used to tell the story that Pemberton accidentally created Coca Cola with carbonated water was very compelling. I love the mystery that the article portrays about the formula and the secret ingredients. I found it especially interesting that the use of cocaine in the drink today is still debated.

  • Before reading this article I had heard that in past years Coca-Cola did contain cocaine. I was not very sure of how true this actually was. I was somewhat surprised to find out that Coca-Cola did in fact contain this drug. I was not aware of the fact that John Pemberton created the soda as a type of medicine hoping to help his customers with any medical ailments that they could be having at the time. This popular drink has a lot of history behind it that I’m sure many of its consumers have no knowledge about.

  • I thought this article was very interesting especially since it is an everyday item but yet, there is a vast history on the soda its self. An example of something that I believe that not many people actually know about was that it was marketed as a “patent medicine” which had a hint of cocaine. This made me realize how much more strict and developed our would is today.

  • As I read this article I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I write about this?” Coca-Cola happens to be my favorite fountain drink of all time. There was once a time when I would have a Cola bottle with every meal I had, although I have since realized how unhealthy that was. Reading of the long and storied history of the famous drink was enjoyable. The article provided a great narrative that spoke of the humble beginnings of the drink to the massive corporate outreach the company has since garnered.

  • Great article! Growing up, I had always heard many rumors about Coca-Cola. After reading about the true story behind Coca-Cola through its course of the years, all of the confusion has been cleared. I’ve also learned some very valuable facts regarding the usage of these products. For instance, I had never known Coca-Cola was originally used as medicine. I’m not sure how many actually consumed the drink thinking it would work. With Coca-Cola being a popular drink, having the opportunity to read about its history made it that much more easier to read and makes you want to go stop by the store and buy a coke.

  • Great article. I had heard that Coke had cocaine in it at one time, like many tonics of that era, but I did not know that it was invented by accident. A recent ad campaign played up the bubbles as a selling point; makes the ad more interesting knowing this was an accident. I also did not know that Coke had been around since the Civil War era. The brand is world famous and will probably be around for a very long time in the future.

  • I wanted to read this article from the moment I read the title. And the introduction pulled me in, making me more excited to continue reading. It was interesting reading about the first person to eve taste the drink, what he did, and what he thought about it. I was caught by surprise to learn that this article would mainly address the use of cocaine as an ingredient in Coca-Cola. This article taught me a lot about a drink people enjoy on a daily bases all over the world. The topic was very unusual and interesting, great choice. I genuinely enjoyed reading this and learning about one of the most important products in modern day. I feel like every time I am drinking a coke or see an advertisement about it, I will think about this article.

  • Well formed articled, I never knew that the making of the beverage had a mistake. I don’t think it will be very good with plain water instead of carbonated water anyways. The name Coca-Cola does have a part of the word “cocaine” in it and I always knew the was some kind of relation between them. The beginning of the article kept my attention good work! I haven’t considered cola as a medicine and I like that fact about it I learned a new thing today.

  • Before reading this article, I had always thought that the “Coca” in Coca-Cola got its name from the amount of cocaine used in the beverage. It was interesting to find out that the word in the name was used because of the use of coca leaves. As an avid Coca-Cola drinker and fan, I was shocked to find out the unsure road that the company has gone down. I guess it’s safe to say that everyone has their own dark secret.

  • This was a very nice article, well written and very informative. I didn’t know that coca cola had so many secrets and lies. I knew that in the beginning coca cola was marketed and sold as a medicine however, I don’t think I knew that there used to be cocaine in the actual drink. I definitely didn’t know about the lies the company told about how and where the drink was created.

  • This artical provided information i never even knew. Most people know that cocaine was a ingredient in the original recipe but it is a surpise to find that coca cola as denied any use of cocaine still even with there imports being tracked. I also enjoyed how you stated the story that the company tried to push about how it was invented it reall shows a light on what the company wants the public to belice as fact.

  • Great title pick! It shows the prevalence of this product in our lives, although we know little of its background. I enjoyed the way you built your introduction, shifting from a tone of awareness to a suspicious one. It is indeed strange that even the drink’s name, “Coca”-Cola, makes reference to the Peruvian leaf. What stroked me the most, however, was learning about how the CC Company chooses not to share the truth behind their original ingredients – nor the turmoil caused by them. This article was a complete learning experience for me, I had no idea so much doubt was behind the origins of such beloved beverage. So, thanks Nahim for the evidence ridden insight!

  • I love this title! It makes me want to kickback, relax and pop open a bottle of Coca-Cola! Just kidding, I’m not trying to ingest some drugs from a soda?! I can’t believe Coca-Cola started out using coca leaves in its ingredients. I mean, everyone has made the jokes about Coca-Cola being made out of cocaine but I thought that was just because of the name! Turns out that the name was because of the ingredients used inside! What a crazy thing to let your customers consume… wow. I always knew I hated the taste of Coca-Cola for a reason.

  • For starters, the title of this article grabs the readers attention because it’s something that mostly everyone has said or has heard of it. Before reading this article I didn’t know the history of Coca-Cola, all I knew was that cocaine was one of the ingredients they used to use. After reading this article the most surprising thing I learned was that Coca-Cola was first a form of medicine. In conclusion, this article gave me a lot of interesting facts about the Coca-Cola industry and it was very fun to read.

  • The original story behind Coca-Cola was one that I have heard many rumors about, but this article was clear in straightening out and confirming what was true versus what was rumored. The use of cocaine in the creation of Coke was a statement I was familiar with prior to this article, but I was unaware of the lies behind the famous soda’s creation.

  • The article offers insight on the history of the famous American drink. Nahim Rancharan provides the history and background of Coca-Cola corporation. The author’s catchy introduction grabs my attention and worries me about the potential danger of the “delicious drink.” However, the information of and fact give Rancharan validity and credibility. The shocking Cocoa leaf facts she purposely explains in order to create a feeling of panic on the reader

  • I never knew the story behind Coca-Cola. That is so crazy how Pemberton created this drink as a form of medication, and it turned into one of the most popular and favorite drinks of people. He probably never guessed that was he was making would turn into what it did. I also find it shocking that when the drink was first made, stores were actually selling it with the traces of cocaine in the beverage. I guess I understand all of the jokes that are made about it being so addicting now. Thank you for this article it was very entertaining to read.

  • This is a very well structured and informative article. It does well in informing its audience about the origin of America’s favorite soft drink. It addresses the interesting thought process during the creation of the first brew of Coca Cola. The fact that the drink was originally made with the intent of being medicine. I for one never knew this interesting fact about the drink I see so predominantly in our culture today. It not only informed me about facts I didn’t know, but it was also a very fun read.

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