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

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

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    • T

      like the old days it has cocain again dont let them lie to you

    • Emma

      Maybe not cocain, but there is something that makes you addictive to it for sure…

    • EG

      this sucks, evrything was better without anyone knowing a thing

    • Llucy

      yes Eg, i agree!

    • nazim uddin

      there r millions of muslim people around the world alcohol is forbiden for them they sould at least know that cocacola contains it & it is not fair

    • Jack D

      30 (unclear quantity) is 30 # which is 30 POUNDS of sugar – the recipe is for 5 gallons of syrup which makes 30 gallons of soda. A dram is 1/8 of a fluid ounce or 2/3 of a teaspoon.

    • Jack D

      As for the alcohol, it is highly diluted – 2 oz. of alcohol in 30 gallons of soda. This is much less alcohol than is found naturally in many foods such as juices which start to ferment as soon as they are opened. 30 gallons is the size of a large trash can or 1/2 a bathtub and 2 oz. is one shot glass of alcohol added to that quantity of water. I’m not an expert on halal but you could never become intoxicated from such a small quantity.

    • Fay

      This is a rumour according to the coca-cola site:
      Rumor: The Secret Formula for Coca-Cola includes alcohol
      Our Response: In the manufacture of Coca-Cola, alcohol is not added as an ingredient and no fermentation takes place.

      The ingredients and manufacturing process used in the production of Coca-Cola are rigorously regulated by government and health authorities in more than 200 countries which have consistently recognized the beverage Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic product.

      Coca-Cola is safe and meets the safety requirements, laws and practices in every country where our brands are sold.

    • ben

      Coca fluid? and where might you get that legally?