Prohibition Invents the Official Soft Drink of Planet Earth
In the Beginning:
Have you ever gotten bored and decided to try to come up with the perfect drink? And did you snap your fingers and say, "Aha! I'll take some booze and mix it with cocaine!"
If so, you're probably due for one hell of an intervention. But if it was 1885 and your name was John Pemberton, you were about to become the father of a freaking worldwide beverage empire. Pemberton was a pharmacist living in Columbus, Georgia and to be fair, alcohol laced with cocaine was already a thing (called coca wine).
If you're thinking to yourself that combining a stimulant and a depressant into one concoction isn't the greatest of ideas, you obviously didn't grow up in the 19th century.
And aren't familiar with Sparks, the energy beer.
Pemberton's product was a resounding success; the ads for Pemberton's French Wine Coca said it was for "scientists, scholars, poets, divines, lawyers, physicians, and others devoted to extreme mental exertion."
Apparently ads weren't charged by the letter back then, because we suspect it would've been cheaper to write, "BOOZE: Now With COCAINE." That shit kind of sells itself.
Prohibition happened. Alcohol was suddenly illegal. But, instead of responding in the hornswoggling fashion his neighbors did, Pemberton instead removed the alcohol from his coca wine and replaced it something people like almost as much: gigantic amounts of sugar. Coca-Cola was born.
"Come gents, let us imbibe sugar water and enjoy this so-called 'jazz' music."