Anyone opening a cold bottle of Coke this summer owes a nod of thanks to a rundown factory in the Spanish town of Aielo de Malferit, locals tell Der Spiegel.
The few folks remaining at the factory producing Nuez de Kola Coca, an alcoholic version of the soft drink, say the recipe for the world-famous cola originated here. They feel cheated out of bragging rights and, of course, money.
The short version: Three locals founded the factory in 1880 and began producing beverages from the fruit of kola nut trees and the leaves of coca plants. Their drinks started winning innovation prizes around the world, including one for Kola Coca in Philadelphia in 1885.
"Perhaps it was coincidence, perhaps it wasn't-but just one year later, US pharmacist John Pemberton made history when he invented Coca-Cola," says the Der Spiegel piece.
Not surprisingly, the current owner of the Spanish factory falls on the no-coincidence side."It was easy to copy a beverage in those days."
The companies kept on their separate paths until 1953, when Coca-Cola moved into Spain, bought the rights to "Kola Coca" for a relative pittance and allowed the Spanish company to keep producing only an alcoholic version.
Flash-forward another half-century, and the Spanish factory has just four employees left and probably won't last another generation. "After that, this chapter in history will probably come to an end once and for all," says the owner.
You may also like...
Prostitute Mug Shots:Arrests in nationwide sex trafficking sting
4 H8TERZ:Florida's rejected license plates
Standing Her Ground?Woman gets 20 years for firing warning shots
Message in a Bottle:Beachcomber finds man's ashes in bottle
Candy Caper:Men steal $430 in candy from Walmart
Animal Cruelty:Man accused of killing, cooking family dog
Hooters Hotties:Beautiful women compete in 2013 Hooters swimsuit competition
My bad, Judge:Woman apologizes after flipping off judge
Teen Lesbian Support:Online support grows 18-year-old girl who had same-sex relationship with 15-year-old
Prostitute Roundup:92 arrested in online sex sting
Yellow light bust:Florida shortens yellow lights to cause more red light tickets
Hottie Internet Convict:Woman behind mug shot meme sets the record straight
Homebrew Soda:Man claims to find Coca-Cola recipe, sells it on eBay
Waterspouts:Video, images show waterspouts coming ashore
Motorcycles and bikinis:Bikini bike wash!
Faces of Meth:Before and After pictures
When neigh means neigh:Video shows man brutalizing, having sex with horse
Sex blog:Tampa area school CFO busted over her dirty sex porn blog*warning, GRAPHIC*
Nasty Nasty Dining:10 of the nastiest restaurants in Tampa Bay in 2012
APP-tastic:Download the 10 News app for your iPad
Bikinis, mud, trucks:The Redneck Yacht Club
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Notorious Women:Bad girls behind bars
Teachers:Teacher arrest mugshots
Prostitutes:Prostitute mug shots
Porn arrests:Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs:Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries:10 News slideshows and galleries