Coca wine legally consumed cocaine drink. More than a century ago coca wine was all the rage. Back in the 1900s, 99 percent of people in developing countries drank cocaine mixed with ethyl alcohol. After this mix was discovered, it became popular as an alcoholic drink and cure all.
Where coca wine began
Angelo Mariani (1838 – 1914) first discovered coca wine in 1863 while working in his laboratory in Paris. Making his own brand of wine using Bordeaux wine and Peruvian coca leaves, he named it Vin Mariani. Mariani gave his wine to an actress who suffered with depression. The effects were almost instantaneous. Overnight her melancholy lifted. She told all her friends, which caused a huge demand for the wine. Advertising for the coca wine said it would cure depression, and restore health and vitality. The advertisements claimed it was perfectly safe to take. It became sought after across the world.
People from all walk of life used Vin Mariani. Among the famous people of the time to drink coca wine were Queen Victoria, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Edison, and Jules Verne. It was popular among musicians and writers, and European Kings and Queens, as well as a US president. Even Pope Leo XIII endorsed Vin Mariani by awarding it the Vatican gold medal. He was the face of the advertising campaign for the product.
How coca wine affects you
Combining cocaine with alcohol causes a chemical to form. When consumed, it produces a more powerful sense of relaxation and joy than cocaine can give on its own. Mixing alcohol and cocaine together produces a chemical called cocoaethylene. It effects last three times longer in your body than cocaine does on its own. The toxicity level is 30 percent higher than if taken without alcohol. Some researchers believe drinking cocaine mixed with alcohol could be the cause of unexplained deaths previously thought to be from just cocaine use.
Cocaine and Coca Cola® – truth or legend?
Atlanta druggist, John Pemberton (1832 – 1888) desired to create the perfect medicine and drink. He based his research on the already popular Vin Mariani. In 1885, Pemberton launched Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. His new, improved formula included the kola nut and damiana. The kola nut is recognised for its medicinal properties and damiana is a well-known aphrodisiac. Pemberton advertised his tonic as being for poor nerves and as an alternative to wean people from morphine addiction. Pemberton also marketed his coca wine as being good for impotence.
Medicinal Benefits of the Coca Leaf
Pemberton was so sure of the medicinal benefits of the coca leaf and kola nut in his coca wine, he set out to develop a non-alcoholic version of his tonic. He replaced the wine with a variety of essential oils and added sugar to offset the bitter taste. This resulted in the drink being too sweet so he added citric acid to balance the flavour and make it enjoyable to drink.
He completed research into the effects of his new tonic. When Pemberton was about to launch his non-alcoholic tonic, he was approached with a business proposition. He accepted and formed the Pemberton Chemical Company. They held a contest to name the new drink. Frank Robinson won the competition with the now iconic name Coca-Cola. With a good promotional campaign behind it, Coca-Cola became popular across America.
With his heath failing, Pemberton sold two-thirds of his share in Coca-Cola formula to Wills Venable and George Lowndes in 1887. At the time, he was dying but still believed Coca-Cola would become a household drink. Pemberton died in 1988 after losing even his one-third share in the then obscure patented medicine that would one day become one of the world’s most powerful corporations.
When Atlanta introduced Prohibition in 1886, Pemberton replaced the wine in his tonic with sugar syrup and Pemberton’s French Wine also became Coca-Cola. By the end of the 1800s, using products containing coca became unpopular among fears of rising drug abuse. People prescribed cocaine to help with morphine addiction were becoming addicted to both drugs. It became a social dilemma.
In 1903, cocaine was removed from the Coca-Cola formula because of public perception of the drug. This was 11 years before cocaine was officially banned from public use, forcing Vin Mariani and other coca based products out of business. And, as we all know, Coca-Cola became the most ionic drink on the market. And, it still is today.
Coca-Cola company officially denies cocaine was ever part of the original formula.
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