Welcome to drinkopaedia

This online search tool is designed to allow you to learn more about non-alcoholic beverages and their ingredients. It is constantly evolving and being updated in order to carry the very latest information.



Cola is one of the most popular forms of soft drink, widely available throughout the world. The precursor to colas, Vin Mariani, was invented by a French pharmacist, Angelo Mariani, in 1863. Modern colas nowadays consists of a blend of carbonated water, sugar or artificial sweetener, caramel for colour, and acid – usually phosphoric acid - to balance sweetness. 

Colas will also contain certain natural flavourings, including extract of cola leaf and other naturally derived flavours such as vanilla and spices such as cinnamon.  Other ingredients include caffeine (although some colas are available without caffeine) and certain food additives. In Europe, these additives will be identified on the label as ‘E numbers’, indicating that the European Union has deemed them safe for use in food.

Individual recipes for colas are often closely guarded secrets.