So Mutineer Director of Operations Jeff Dorenbush sent me a frenzy of e-mails today regarding the secret recipe. Like a confused child that just found out that babies weren’t delivered by storks riding unicorns, Mr. Dorenbush’s world was rocked by having to consider that Coca-Cola is indeed sourced and not a creation of divine intervention. I’ve compiled some of the research in his e-mails to hopefully shed some light on the situation.
Article of Evidence #1: New York Times
An article in the New York Times from May 3, 1993 titled “Dispute Over Coca-Cola’s Secret Formula” takes on the Coca-Cola recipe folklore head-on:
The author of a new unauthorized history of the Coca-Cola Company has found himself in a dispute with the company over whether his book has the highly guarded recipe for the world’s most famous soft drink…Coca-Cola’s attempts to keep the recipe secret are matters of legend — it pulled out of India in 1977 rather than divulge its formula to the Government…Coca-Cola calls the book “the latest in a long line of previous, unsuccessful attempts to reveal a 107-year-old mystery.” It added that “the secret formula and process of manufacture remain a secret” and that the book “falls short of being a totally truthful effort.”
Article of Evidence #2: Cracked.com
The formula for Coca-Cola is listed as #7 on “7 Secrets Only Two Living People Know (For Some Reason)”:
It even managed to stall a divorce case. When one of the Coke heirs ended his marriage to his wife, she demanded some of his great-grandfather’s (the founder of Coca-Cola) original notes as part of her settlement. The company had to get involved and put a stop to it out of fear the notes could contain information on the formula.
Who Knows: Only two Coke executives know it. Urban legend says they each only know half, but that’s false–that part was invented for an old ad campaign.
Article of Evidence #3: Wikipedia
We wrap things up with a trip to the vortex of God’s brain Wikipedia, Coca-Cola Formula:
Published competitors say it contains sugar, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, coca leaf, kola nut extract, lime extract, flavoring mixture, vanilla and glycerin. Alleged syrup recipes vary greatly. The basic “cola” taste from Coca-Cola and competing cola drinks comes mainly from vanilla and cinnamon; distinctive tastes among various brands are the result of trace flavorings such as orange, lime and lemon and spices such as nutmeg.
To this day, Coca-Cola uses a United States license to purify the coca leaf for medicinal use.
Because cocaine is naturally present in coca leaves, today’s Coca-Cola uses “spent”, or treated, coca leaves, those that have been through a cocaine extraction process, to flavor the beverage. Some contend that this process cannot extract all of the cocaine alkaloids at a molecular level, and so the drink still contains trace amounts of the stimulant. The Coca-Cola Company currently refuses to comment on the continued presence of coca leaf in Coca-Cola.
Soooooo…basically, the recipe is a ridiculously closely guarded secret that no one will ever know in the universe ever. EVER. Well, we tried. So much for the Internet…