Why Coke was Made: Rumors and Myths

Ad for Coca-Cola, from Flickr

According to Coca-Cola, Pemberton brewed the first mix of his new drink in his backyard, using a modest three-legged kettle. Coca-Cola also states that cocaine was never an ingredient in the elixir.

However, both of these facts have been proven to be myths.

According to Mark Pendergrast, author of "For God, Country & Coca-Cola," the syrup was meant to go along with the culture of the times. The syrup was to be advertised as a "nerve tonic" to calm people down. Also, it was advertised under Candler's reign to cure headaches and fatigue.

Pendergrast also says that Coca-Cola did in fact have a negligible amount of cocaine in it. Even though Candler said he would shut down the Coca-Cola operation if the drink was found to be harmful, the drink did contain coca leaves. The syrup had one half-ounce of coca leaf per gallon, amounting to about a little over one-hundreth of a grain.

To get technical, Candler always maintained that the drink naturally used coca leaves, which mixed different kinds of alkaloids, as opposed to the drug cocaine, which was a pure alkaloid. It actually took about 30 glasses to produce the actual dose of the drug.

The cocaine content of Coca-Cola remained until 1903. It made the drink very controversial, but it also contributed to Coca-Cola's success.

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