Well Being

Secret Coca-Cola Ingredients Revealed: “Merchandise 7x Flavoring”

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In a recent episode of Chicago Public Radio's This American Life, Coca Cola's secret recipe was revealed: The closely-guarded key to their trademarked soda was apparently published in Atlanta Constitution-Journal back in 1979, but no one noticed. Now, thanks to the Internet, their recipe is in the hands of consumers and competitors everywhere. So what gives Coke that different taste? Aside from corn syrup and carbonation, Coke owes its unique flavor to “merchandise 7x flavoring,” a combination of orange, nutmeg, and lemon oils, coriander, cinnamon, and neroli. (Is anyone else surprised at how much this list reads like the scent list for an ashram?)

Some are speculating that their recipe reveal will spark an onslaught of artisanal Coke imitators, but aside from a few Portland-dwelling hipsters, most agree that the revelation won't make much difference in business. (If dozens of studies proving the health risks associated with soft drinks don't persuade customers, we doubt the list of ingredients will do much, either.)

In case you want to start your own home brewing operation, here's the full recipe. (Just don't ask us what three drams means, or what to do with the gallons of syrup this recipe calls for.)

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

The Globe and Mail and TIME