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The Cocaine-infused Wine Endorsed by the Pope

The A.V. Club goes down the Wiki wormhole to bring us the story of Vin Mariani, a French wine popular in the 1860s. Cocaine was a common ingredient in those days, and Vin Mariani, which incoprated cocaine in its recipe, was promoted as an aid to "health and vitality." Besides, Pope Leo XIII liked it!

Biggest controversy: Believe it or not, not enough cocaine. Chemist Angelo Mariani, who created the wine, marketed the drink in his native France with 6 milligrams of cocaine per ounce. But when Mariani tried to export his wine to America, he had to change the formula. Not to meet any kind of regulations—there were none regarding cocaine at the time—but because his drink was mild compared to the competition in the U.S. He had to add 20% more cocaine just to deliver the same buzz American coke wine did.

The effect of Vin Mariani on America didn't stop with the wine itself. It indirectly led us to Coca-Cola. Read how that happened at the A.V. Club. -via Strange Company 


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