When Coca-‐Cola was first produced – when it claimed to have many health-enhancing properties – the recipe was rather different to that which is used today.
There was one very special ingredient in what was first named as Pemberton’s French Wine Cola which is definitely not included, and that was the infusion of coca leaves.
Pemberton had been inspired after learning about the restorative affects of a French wine called Vin Mariani – and that produced by another Chemist in 1863. Angelo Mariani had discovered the 'medicinal affects' of infusing wine with coca leaves (his Vin Mariani eventually contained 7.2mg cocaine to each fluid ounce of wine) which entirely altered the drink’s affect - as illustrated in the advertisement above with the cork flying out of the bottle!
The potion was marketed as a tonic which could restore health, energy and vitality – and indeed it was thought to be so fine that Queen Victoria herself was said to frequently imbibe.
And among other glowing testimonies from the famous, the good, and the great, Pope Leo XIII was so pleased with the wine's restorative affects that he awarded it a special gold medal and agreed to appear on a poster to endorse the miraculous affects.
What can the VV say to that but, Cheers!
ADDENDUM: For a previous post on the history of Coca-Cola click here.