20 Things You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola

Which side were they on in World War II? Erm...

Coca-Cola is the great American drink. Andy Warhol once said that "What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too." It's a universal experience not only for Yanks but for people all over the world who, on average, will all have drank at least one Coca-Cola product at some point in their lives (and who will, on average, actually drink a whole lot more than that). For a drink that's so popular and a company that's been around for centuries you probably reckon you have a good handle on everything there is to know about them, but you'd be wrong, pal. In fact, here are twenty things right here which you probably didn't know about Coca-Cola.

20. It Originally Contained Cocaine

Well, coca leaves, but that's where cocaine comes from, and it's actually still there in modern Coca-Cola. In most countries, anyway. Not only that, but Coca-Cola has a special arrangement with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that lets them import dried coca leaves from Peru and Bolivia in huge quantities without it throwing up red flags.

19. And Was Medicinal

Way back in 1886 an entrepreneurial soul and pharmacist named John Stith Pemberton invented Coca-Cola. Which not only was a delicious drink but was originally sold as a medicine, a sort of nerve tonic that could cure, amongst other things, headaches and impotence. Years later Sigmund Freud stood by the latter claim, because of course he did. Sometimes a bottle is just a bottle, Siggy. Plus Pemberton invented it as an alternative to the morphine he was addicted to following the Civil War, so you can see why Freud would relate.
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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/