guilty-pleasures

Has Coke's secret recipe been uncovered?

Feb. 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM ET

JIM YOUNG / Reuters /

Update: Coca-Cola Co claims the recipe isn't the real deal.

The only secret more closely guarded than Kate Middleton’s wedding dress designer is the recipe for Coca-Cola, specifically, the ingredients in the mythic flavoring mixture known as Merchandise 7X.

On Friday, This American Life reported that they came across a 1979 newspaper article that showed what seemed to be the original recipe for Coke.

Buried on page 2B of the  Feb. 18, 1979, edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a columnist reported finding the recipe, written by hand in a pharmacist’s notebook – not so strange considering Coke was invented by pharmacist John Pemberton and originally sold in pharmacies.  The notebook had allegedly been passed down by various pharmacists and was in the hands of Everett Beal at the time the column was written.

Investigative reporter Mark Pendergrast, who wrote “For God, Country & Coca-Cola” in 1993, told the radio program that “only two people at any given time know how to mix the 7X flavoring ingredient … it’s this carefully passed on secret ritual.”

Pendergrast published a purported recipe for Coke in his book, but the company has always denied that it was accurate. ThisAmericanLife.org shares the recipe from Everett Beal’s book, and notes that all ingredients can be bought online and that they’ll post the full instructions soon.  

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