True or not, Coke holds all the cards.
“Throughout the years, a number of handwritten formulas have surfaced and have been presented to Coca-Cola,” writes the web sleuths at Snopes.com. “The company routinely waves them off as ‘not authentic,’ and that usual ends the matters. After all, no one can authenticate his tattered copy of the recipe … unless Coca-Cola shows theirs, and Coca-Cola never does.”
In 2011, NPR’s “This American Life” radio program claimed it had discovered the formula within a photograph accompanying an article published 34 years ago by the AJC. Coca-Cola insists the recipe — with ingredients including vanilla, lime juice, lemon oil, orange oil, cinnamon oil and nutmeg oil — published online by NPR was not the real thing.
“There have been many attempts to replicate the formula, and I suspect that’s what we have here, another imitator,” Ryan said in reference to Kluge’s document.
Kluge claims he discovered the formula among of stack of papers he recently purchased at the estate sale of a prominent Chattanooga chemist.
“There is no doubt (at least in my mind) that whoever typed the letter had seen the original recipe for Coca Cola … more evidence and external factors are falling in place to bolster the fact that this could be the original, with an emphasis on the word ‘could,’ ” Kluge writes on eBay. He did not respond to an interview request from the AJC.
According to Ryan, Kluge likely does possess a soft drink recipe: “It’s for a cola. But not Coca-Cola.”