Coca-Cola was originally invented as a "coca wine" to relieve fatigue.
Today, fizzy, complexly-flavored and caramel-colored Coca-Cola endures as the quintessential American soft drink in more than 200 countries. While overconsumption of sugary sodas is now part of the national obesity debate, the drink was originally hailed as a curative. Pharmacist John Pemberton, who was born this week on July 8, 1831, created the concoction as coca wine, a 19th century cure for fatigue. During Prohibition, the wine in “Pemberton’s French wine cola” was replaced with sugar syrup and the beverage started to more closely resemble today’s canned favorite.
Coke still transcends its basic purpose as a much-loved beverage. Chef Sue Torres likes to combine it with tamarind to make a Oaxaca-inspired marinade for tenderizing the beef in her cookout-ready Grilled Steak, Chicken and Vegetable Tacos.
Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.