Coca-Cola owes its existence to wine

In the mid 19th century ”tonic” wines became popular. These were often fortified with coca, the South American plant extract better known as the source of cocaine. In 1863, Pope Leo XIII awarded a medal to Angelo Mariani, the formulator of Vin Mariani, a coca-wine drunk by millions across the world. n American version, Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, was produced in Atlanta by John Pemberton and developed a following among the city’s intellectuals. In 1885 local prohibition laws forced him to produce a non-alcoholic version, which he pepped up with caffeine-rich kola nuts from Africa. The rest of the story is history.