Was Coca-Cola actually invented in Spain?

The origin of the first-ever Coca-Cola recipe is in question.

Records show that Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, by former Confederate Colonel John Pemberton, who intended to create an opium-free medicine in an effort to kick a morphine addiction. However, a distillery south of Valencia, Spain, has long claimed that the world-famous soda was actually invented there.

In a recent interview with Spanish daily El País, the distillery’s 79-year-old owner, Juan Juan Micó, reiterated the longstanding claim that the recipe for what was originally dubbed “Kola-Coca” is locked away in a safe at the still-operating Destilerías Ayelo in the municipality of Aielo de Malferit. Nobody has any actual proof that Coca-Cola has roots in Aielo, but locals are so confident in the story that village officials have penned a letter to the Coca-Cola Company seeking permission to publicly explain further.

“Everything points to this being the case,” the town’s mayor, José Luis Pinter, told El País. “Our aim is to get Coca-Cola to acknowledge the project so that the town will get recognition. We’re not seeking anything more than that.”