John Pemberton, inventor of Coca Cola, sold his product as a drug-store fountain drink. This image depicts one of his early advertisements, which dates back to 1886.


Angelo Mariani, a Corsican entrepreneur who had moved to Paris, made a fortune after he added cocaine to Bordeaux wine. His product, "Vin Mariani," became extremely popular in Europe and was imported to the United States.

"Vin Mariani" was a kind of model for John S. Pemberton, an Atlanta surgeon and chemist, who produced his own product: "French Wine Cola." (Pemberton, according to legend, created his Wine Cola as a last-ditch effort to cure a morphine addiction.)

Soon after he introduced his new product, however, Pemberton had bad news. In a few months his cola would be illegal. Atlanta was about to "go dry" in an early (albeit short-lived) experiment with Prohibition.

In 1886, on the cusp of Prohibition, Pemberton developed his now-famous secret Coca-Cola recipe. Sweetening his concoction with distilled fruit oils (instead of the now-prohibited wine), Pemberton advertised his product and set in motion what has become the most recognized trademark (and product) in the world.

After Atlanta's Prohibition failed, Pemberton thought his original French Wine Cola would be more popular than his new concoction. In 1891, he sold Asa Candler the rights to his Coca-Cola formula for around $2,000.

Candler altered the formula slightly, although he retained the cocaine alkaloid ("Coca") and the kola nuts ("Cola"). The cocaine alkaloid, of course, has not been used in Coca-Cola since 1903 (or thereabouts).

How did the cocaine alkaloid become such a popular product? Because of how it works in the human body.

Let's take a look at what happens.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Sep 01, 2017

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"COCAINE-LACED DRINKS" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2001. Feb 19, 2020.
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