*Well, almost daily
What: Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton wasn’t trying to create a fizzy soft drink, though. His interest was in making French Wine Coca, a cure-all tonic sold mostly to upper-class customers. French Wine Coca’s main ingredients were Bordeaux wine and coca leaves. That’s right, coca leaves — AKA where cocaine comes from.
Why: In 1885, Atlanta passed new prohibition laws, and Pemberton set about creating a non-alcoholic alternative to his popular tonic. The first glass was sold at a nearby pharmacy, where Pemberton’s syrup was combined with carbonated water — known to be good for one’s health. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, coined the Coca-Cola name and the logo still bears his distinctive, flowing script. Despite the temperance rules in Atlanta — and until his death in 1888 — Pemberton’s original French Wine Coca continued to be much more popular than the new, carbonated and non-alcoholic Coca-Cola product.
Get this: Pemberton’s original recipe called for 5 ounces of coca leaf for every gallon of Coca-Cola syrup. Six years later, under a different owner, the coca amount dropped by 90%. By the early 1900s, all traces of cocaine had been removed from the recipe. Today, the coca flavoring comes from a cocaine-free extract of the coca leaf, manufactured by just one processing plant in New Jersey that is specially licensed by the U.S. government. Stimulating!
A little more: The first glass of Coca-Cola sold for just 5 cents. If you want to learn more about the beverage’s history, take a look at its heritage timeline.
Learn about a small Coca-Cola innovation being tested in select markets. Sally Herships reports for Marketplace.
After you listen to Marketplace, do you wish the fun would just keep going? The Daily Nugget is here to help. Each day or close to it we'll find a nugget of information related to something in the news. Who knows what the Nugget might be? From the minute to the monumental, The Nugget will satisfy your cranial cravings.
Do you have an idea for a nugget? Oh you simply must share it.