This is mostly conjecture, but one of the flavors I've been able to detect in Coca-Cola
is an unexpected, but logical one: Riesling
, as in the wine
. This has led me to the following speculation: it's a fact that Coca-Cola is ersatz Mariani Wine
, a cocaine-laced beverage (think Bawls
) of the late 19th century. An extract of wine grapes (even more than the cocaine
) would be suspect in some Prohibitionist
quarters in America (dry counties
, sales to children, "Negroes", "Indians", etc.) Therefore, by claiming a "secret" ingredient, the Coca-Cola company could market their product as a "temperance
" drink, with no such problems.
My opinion only, YMMV.