After the war, Pemberton settled in Atlanta, where he began work on a beverage combining coca leaves and cola nuts. His objective was to create a pain reliever but when his lab assistant accidentally mixed the concoction with carbonated water on May 8, 1886, the two men tasted it, liked it, and decided it might make a profitable alternative to ginger ale and root beer.
Pemberton sold the rights to Coca-Cola (twice, actually, but that’s another story) as his behavior became more erratic. He died only two years after his accidental invention and only a few months after the Coca Cola Corporation was incorporated.
The Coca-Cola that you may be drinking right now has been reformulated a bit over the years, but the basic beverage is 126 years old today. Link