Coca-Cola Secret Recipe Revealed: This American Life Host Burned At the Stake

by Gabriel Hummel on February 16, 2011


Let me be frank, Coca-cola has long been the bane of my very existence. I grew up knee deep in the warm embrace of the American color splendor that is Pepsi. When I was offered samplings of nearly every Coke variation, I would turn up my nose and opt for far more upper class option of orange pop.


Why in God’s name would I touch such a disgusting travesty of soft drinks when I could embark on a carbonated journey of epic proportions with my faithful red, white, and blue?

Then I stopped giving a shit about pop, and then I discovered alcohol, and the whole game changed. Jack and coke brought a whole new definition to my existence and the discovery of Disaronno and coke with a splash of grenadine practically changed my life’s purpose.


Today I still don’t really give two flying fucks about carbonated beverages unless it involves a martini shaker and a seduce-able bartender for those every illusive 5 second pours. To some others, soda, pop, coke, and soda pop are a way of life.

On an episode of, “This American Life”, Ira Glass made the staggering announcement that the original recipe to “merchandise 7X”, or the secret ingredient to Coca-Cola had been published in a newspaper in Coke’s hometown back in 1979.  

Some local columnist had stumbled across it in an old book of recipes and eagerly presented it to his editor in hopes that he would recipe recognition somewhere above that of Peter Parker.


Since I know you are practically shitting yourself in anticipation, without further ado, here is the now published full reciepe to Coca-Cola in all its glory.

The recipe: 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

Story continues below

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

Honestly, it was kind of a letdown for yours truly. Where’s the cocaine? No fancy herbs or yellow dye #5s? I feel like I could have stumbled across the recipe by accident during my various adventures behind a bar with a gross amount of mixers at my disposal.

Oh well, buzz kill or not, life will go on and we will continue to purchase copious amounts of carbonated garbage because we are all inherently way to damn lazy to sit down and cook anything, let alone a soda recipe that requires drops of nutmeg oil.

Now all I can do is hope for Dr.Pepper to spill the beans and watch as Waco, TX engulfs itself in a blanket of flames while I sit back and enjoy a glass of red wine and some popcorn.

Awaiting the apocalypse


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