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February 11, 2011

Original Recipe

The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. Locked in a vault in Atlanta. Supposedly unreplicable. But we think we may have found the original recipe. And to see if the formula actually might be Coke, we made a batch. Or, anyway, we asked the folks at Jones Soda and Sovereign Flavors to whip up some up, to see if it tastes like Coke.

Detail from the February 18, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, used with permission of the newspaper, of what may be the original recipe for Coca-Cola. We set out to learn if it was. The final recipe, we think, is in the right hand column.

Here's the press release we put out about this story. And here's a note from Ira making it clear that we are not claiming that we have found the recipe used today for Coca-Cola. When we first broadcast this show, we had no idea how big a splash it would make. We heard from listeners, got international press coverage, and even made it into Conan O'Brien's monologue

Message In a Bottle

The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. So we were surprised to come across a 1979 newspaper article with what looked like the original recipe for Coke. Talking to historian Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country and Coca-Cola, we were even more surprised when we found reasons to believe the recipe is real. (25 minutes)

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