Mark Pendergrast publishes secret Coke formulaHistorians in the News
tags: Georgia, Coca-Cola, corporations, recipes, Mark Pendergast
Safely guarded in an air-conditioned vault in Atlanta, Georgia, lies one of western society's most valuable artefacts. So valuable, that its owner could lose millions if anyone so much as got a look at it. That's what Coca-Cola would have us believe anyway , claiming the only original copy of the soft drink's top-secret recipe lies underneath its US headquarters. But one man is threatening to lift this veil of secrecy this week as he claims to publish a copy of the original formula in a new book. Historian Mark Pendergrast says the recipe was handed down through the family of Frank Robinson, the commercial partner of chemist John Pemberton, who first produced the drink in the summer of 1886.
In the third edition of his book, For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It', Pendergrast reproduces what he claims to be the same recipe that Pemberton devised over 125 years ago. Among the ingredients in the book are sugar, lime juice, nutmeg and coriander.
Pendergrast first came across the recipe when researching his first edition of the book, via Frank Robinson II, the great-grandson of the original Frank Robinson, though Robinson Jr. refused to show it to him. After a legal battle over the ownership of the formula during Robinson Jr.'s divorce, it eventually went to his sister Laura Robinson-Vanwagner when he died, who passed a photocopy on to the historian....
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