Ingredients Wiki

Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in every country except Cuba and North Korea. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke (a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company in the United States since March 27, 1944). Originally intended as a patent medicine when it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coke to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.

The company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold territorially exclusive contracts with the company, produce finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. The bottlers then sell, distribute and merchandise Coca-Cola to retail stores and vending machines. Such bottlers include Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is the largest single Coca-Cola bottler in North America and western Europe. The Coca-Cola Company also sells concentrate for soda fountains to major restaurants and food service distributors.

The Coca-Cola Company has, on occasion, introduced other cola drinks under the Coke brand name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemon, lime or coffee.


  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Caramel color
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Caffeine

Purported secret recipes[]

Pemberton recipe[]

This recipe is attributed to a diary owned by Coca-Cola inventor, John S. Pemberton, just before his death in 1888. (U.S. measures).[1][2]

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 oz (28 g) caffeine citrate
    • 3 oz (85 g) citric acid
    • 1 US fl oz (30 ml) vanilla extract
    • 1 US qt (946 ml) lime juice
    • 2.5 oz (71 g) "flavoring," i.e., "Merchandise 7X"
    • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
    • 4 US fl oz (118.3 ml) fluid extract of coca leaves (flavor essence of the coca leaf).
    • 2.5 US gal (9.5 l; 2.1 imp gal) water
    • caramel sufficient to give color
  • "Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool."
  • Flavoring (Merchandise 7X):
    • 1 qrt alcohol
    • 80 oil orange
    • 40 oil cinnamon
    • 120 oil lemon
    • 20 oil coriander
    • 40 oil nutmeg
    • 40 oil neroli
  • "Let stand 24 hours."

This recipe does not specify when or how the ingredients are mixed, or the flavoring oil quantity units of measure (though it implies that the "Merchandise 7X" was mixed first). This was common in recipes at the time, as it was assumed that preparers knew the method.

Reed recipe[]

This recipe is attributed to pharmacist John Reed.[3][4]

  • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
  • 2 US gal (7.6 l; 1.7 imp gal) water
  • 1 US qt (950 ml) lime juice
  • 4 oz (110 g) citrate of caffeine
  • 2 oz (57 g) citric acid
  • 1 US fl oz (30 ml) extract of vanilla
  • 3⁄4 US fl oz (22.18 ml) fluid extract of kola nut
  • 3⁄4 US fl oz (22.18 ml) fluid extract of coca

Merory recipe[]

Recipe is from Food Flavorings: Composition, Manufacture and Use. Makes one Template:Convert/usgal of syrup. Yield (used to flavor carbonated water at Template:Convert/USoz per bottle): 128 bottles, Template:Convert/USoz.[5]

  • Mix 5 lb (2.3 kg) of sugar with just enough water to dissolve the sugar fully. (High-fructose corn syrup may be substituted for half the sugar.)
  • Add 1 1⁄4 oz (35 g) of caramel, 1⁄10 oz (3 g) caffeine, and 2⁄5 oz (11 g) phosphoric acid.
  • Extract the cocaine from 5⁄8 drachm (1.1 g) of coca leaf (Truxillo growth of coca preferred) with toluol; discard the cocaine extract.
  • Soak the coca leaves and kola nuts (both finely powdered); 1⁄5 drachm (0.35 g) in 3⁄4 oz (21 g) of 20% alcohol.
  • California white wine fortified to 20% strength was used as the soaking solution circa 1909, but Coca-Cola may have switched to a simple water/alcohol mixture.
  • After soaking, discard the coca and kola and add the liquid to the syrup.
  • Add 1 oz (28 g) lime juice (a former ingredient, evidently, that Coca-Cola now denies) or a substitute such as a water solution of citric acid and sodium citrate at lime-juice strength.
  • Mix together
    • 1⁄4 drachm (0.44 g) orange oil,
    • 1⁄10 drachm (0.18 g) cassia (Chinese cinnamon) oil,
    • 1⁄2 drachm (0.89 g) lemon oil, traces of
    • 2⁄5 drachm (0.71 g) nutmeg oil, and, if desired, traces of
    • coriander,
    • neroli, and
    • lavender oils.
  • Add 1⁄10 oz (2.8 g) water to the oil mixture and let stand for twenty-four hours at about 60 °F (16 °C). A cloudy layer will separate.
  • Take off the clear part of the liquid only and add the syrup.
  • Add 7⁄10 oz (20 g) glycerine (from vegetable source, not hog fat, so the drink can be sold to Jews and Muslims who observe their respective religion's dietary restrictions) and 3⁄10 drachm (0.53 g) of vanilla extract.
  • Add water (treated with chlorine) to make a gallon of syrup.

Beal/This American Life recipe[]

On February 11, 2011, Ira Glass said on his PRI radio show, This American Life, that the secret formula to Coca-Cola had been uncovered in "Everett Beal's Recipe Book", reproduced in the February 28, 1979, issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The formula found basically matched the formula found in Pemberton's diary.[6][7][8] The recipe revealed contains:[9]

  • Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
  • Citric acid: 3 oz
  • Caffeine: 1 oz
  • Sugar: 30 lbs
  • 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
  • Cinnamon oil: 10 drops
  • Lemon oil: 30 drops
  • Coriander oil: 5 drops
  • Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
  • Neroli oil: 10 drops


  1. Pendergrast, pp. 456–57.
  2. The Recipe and image (pdf), This American Life. See Radio episode and notes.
  3. "John Reed & the Coke Formula". Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. Template:Citation
  5. Template:Cite book
  6. Katie Rogers, "'This American Life' bursts Coca-Cola's bubble: What's in that original recipe, anyway?," Washington Post BlogPost, February 15, 2011, retrieved February 16, 2011.
  7. Brett Michael Dykes, "Did NPR’s ‘This American Life’ discover Coke’s secret formula?," The Lookout, Yahoo! News, February 15, 2011.
  8. David W. Freeman, "'This American Life' Reveals Coca-Cola's Secret Recipe (Full Ingredient List)," CBS News Healthwatch blogs, February 15, 2011.
  9. The Recipe and image (pdf), This American Life.