One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: the radio show “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.
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 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops
Coca Cola Co., however, denies that the recipe found by the radio program is the same as the one it keeps in an Atlanta, Ga., bank vault.
Many third parties have tried to get the formula, Coke said. “Try as they might, they’ve been unsuccessful, because there is only one ‘Real Thing,'” Reuters news agency quoted spokeswoman Kerry Tressler as saying.
It also reported that the company archivist said the found recipe matches another one in a notebook owned by Pemberton that is in Coke’s archives. The archivist said it might be a precursor to the one that went to market, but not the real thing.