The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A cola is a sweet carbonated drink , usually with caramel flavoring and containing caffeine. The flavor of the drink sometimes comes from a mixture of vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus flavorings. The name comes from the kola nuts that were originally used as the source of caffeine.

The drink may also be caffeine-free, and although some people (perhaps with a touch of irony) disagree on calling such a drink a cola, neither the cola companies themselves nor the vast majority of cola drinkers would make such a distinction. Cola drinks are generally sweetened with corn syrup, but may be sweetened with sugar or an artificial sweetener.

Major brands of cola include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Royal Crown, Virgin Cola and various local producers. Jolt Cola also has a dedicated cult following, as it has more caffeine than any other cola (or any other carbonated drink, for that matter), with the possible exception of German brand Afri-Cola. Inca Kola is another brand that is marketed in many countries by the Coca Cola group, it is the major cola in some South American countries. Tukola and Tropicola are brands from Cuba , the former is also sold in Italy. There is also an open source recipe for a cola drink, OpenCola.

In 2002 a new brand, Mecca Cola, aimed at Muslim customers (with the slogan Think Muslim, Drink Muslim), was launched in France by Tawfik Mathlouthi. It is inspired by Iranian Zamzam Cola. The product became available in the UK in 2003. Some of the profits are directed to the Palestinian cause, and to domestic charities. A similar product with a similar concept, Qibla Cola, was launched in 2003 in the UK. Cola Turka, a Turkish brand, and zelal Cola are also popular among the Muslim community in Germany.

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Last updated: 08-20-2005 23:38:40
Last updated: 08-24-2005 09:20:01