The formula for Coca-Cola has been a closely guarded secret for over 125 years. In fact, only two people are said to know the exact formula and they don’t travel together in airplanes as a precaution. The secret is carefully passed on from generation to generation—but the only written copy is locked away in a bank vault.
That having been said, producers of the radio program This American Life may have just stumbled across the original formula in a February 18th, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The photo used to illustrate the story on page 2B is a hand-written copy of the recipe jotted down by a friend of Coca-Cola creator John Pemberton in a book of ointments and medicines.
The recipe comes complete with the mysterious “7x flavoring” that gives Coca-Cola it’s “unique taste and bubbly burn”. Gaze upon the secret recipe for yourself after the break.
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
This American Life conducted a taste test with a homebrew batch and found that it wasn’t a perfect match, but it was so similar to actual Coca-Cola that many couldn’t tell the difference. Either way, this might be as close to making “The Real Thing” at home as you’ll ever get.