What An 1894 Bottle Of Coca-Cola Containing Cocaine Looked Like

Many of today's Coca-Cola products contain caffeine. But another, much more potent stimulant was once on the list of ingredients: cocaine. The drug's inclusion in this popular product has been called back to the forefront thanks to billionaire Elon Musk, who, after purchasing Twitter, tweeted, "Next I'm buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in." 

To this, Musk's regular friend on the Twitterverse, software developer Pranay Pathole, posted an image of the very first incarnation of the product, writing, "This is the first publicly sold bottle of Coca-Cola in 1894 which contained 3.5 grams of cocaine. Bring it back." We'll go ahead and assume Pathole was joking.

The image features a bottle that can best be described as "old-timey," with the words "delicious" and "refreshing" at the top. The bottle also notes that the Coca-Cola home office is in Atlanta, where it still is today. And before you get all ragey at Coca-Cola, it's important to note that the company was not the only one to include cocaine in its products back in the day. Some of those included sore throat lozenges and even products designed to help teething babies, according to the BBC.

The original Coca-Cola product was a syrup

Before Elon Musk and Pranay Pathole's tweets, many people had heard about Coca-Cola's past but not seen proof of it. Commenter @isabuhari1 marveled over the modern-day value of the original drink, noting that a cursory online search revealed that one gram of cocaine today costs about $35. "If a bottle contains 3.5 grams of cocaine, that means Coca-Cola was the most expensive drink at that time. Who was drinking it then? Billionaires??" they tweeted.

And Twitter user @rozenbottle pointed out to many confused people that the image shows a bottle of syrup. "You were not supposed to take a 3.5 gram cocaine in one drink," they said, imploring people, "Read the label kids." At the time the product was concentrated, as the directions on the label say to "fill glass with large stream of soda water stirring with a spoon that Coca-Cola may be thoroughly mixed." 

Today, of course, soda products are already carbonated, making them easier to enjoy (if less literally intoxicating). Times have changed, indeed.