The name derived from its extracts of coca leaves and kola nuts – and yes, the former did contain small amounts of cocaine.
But this was by no means unusual. In fact, the drink was considered a healthy alternative to the alcoholic ‘French Wine Coca’, and was marketed as a cure for headache, hysteria and melancholy.
In 1903 – following concerns about the narcotic effect the drink could be having on the general population – caffeine replaced cocaine as the stimulating ingredient, but tiny traces of the drug were probably present until the extraction process was refined in 1929.
This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine