This American Life says it's found the original secret recipe for Coca-Cola—weirdly enough, in a 1979 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The article had a photograph of a handwritten recipe by Everett Beal, apparently a close friend of John Pemberton, the pharmacist who created Coca-Cola. The radio show deciphered the old-timey handwriting and came up with a list of ingredients (below), asking soda makers at Jones Soda to whip up a batch. They're going to post instructions later this week; till then, all we have is this tantalizing shopping list:

Everett Beal's Recipe Book (from a Feb 28, 1979 article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution)

(Make 5 gal of syrup to 2 oz of flavor)

3 drams fluid extract of coca
3 oz citric Acid
1 oz caffeine
30 (?) sugar
2.5 gal water
2 pints lime juice
1 oz vanilla
1.5 oz caramel (or more to color)

"7x" Flavor
8 oz. alcohol
20 drops orange oil
30 drops lemon oil
10 drop nutmeg oil
5 drops coriander oil
10 drops neroli oil
10 drops cinnamon oil

Is it the real thing? (As it were.) Mark Pendergrast, who is, I guess, a Coca-Cola historian—he wrote the book History: For God, Country & Coca-Cola—says it "is certainly a version of the formula," which is disappointingly vague. (Pemberton's book has a very similar version of the Journal Constitution recipe, also available on the This American Life website.) The radio show has a few other recipes up on their website—mostly people who say they've uncovered the secret through experimentation, and whose formulas come close to this one.

Coke, for its part, says the Journal-Constitution recipe is not their secret formula—though they actually do have a secret recipe, written on paper, in a bank vault somewhere, which is awesome. Mostly through all this I feel bad for poor Pepsi, about whose secret formula no one cares. When was the last time you wondered about the secret recipe for Pepsi? They probably would just give it to you, if you asked! (Secret ingredient: Tears.)

[TAL; image via AP]