It was called Vin Mariani, it was made in 1863 by Angelo Mariani and contained Bordeaux wine and Peruvian coca leaves! Well guessed, this drink was the forerunner of Coca Cola!
Urban myth or a fact that Coca Cola contained cocaine until 1903, among other ingredients? Even though Coca Cola still denies until today, it is a story that we’ve all heard of. However, something that few people know is that the most popular soft drink came from a wine that actually became popular overnight. Vin Mariani or otherwise Coca Wine, was advertised in Europe and America as the drink that could “cure melancholy … restore health, strength, energy and vitality.” It is scientifically proven that the combination of cocaine and alcohol form a chemical substance, which produces a feeling of euphoria stronger and lasting longer than cocaine itself. Therefore, it is not impressive the fact that this drink used to count many fans around the world, including Thomas Edison, Ulysses S Grant, Queen Victoria and even Pope Leo XIII, who not only lent his face to the advertising campaign of the drink, but he even awarded it during a ceremony at the Vatican!
Around 1880, in Georgia, a pharmacist, named John Pemberton, developed the American version of the drink and called it Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. But when the state passed the Prohibition legislations in 1886, the pharmacist replaced the wine with syrup and named it Coca cola, although it is said that the cocaine component remained for about two more decades. The increasing fear of drug abuse made drinks based on cocaine less popular, so the successors of Pemberton removed cocaine from the drink in 1903, 11 years before the drug was officially banned in 1914, forcing drinks like Vin Mariani to be withdrawn from the market. Nevertheless, Coca Cola had already become America’s favourite beverage.