The drink was originally created by the Eagle Drug and Chemical Company in Georgia in the late 1800's. It was originally sold as a kind of medicine that was supposed to cure all kinds of ailments (including impotence) and yes, it originally had trace amounts of cocaine in it.
The name comes from the Coca leaf (nowadays they take the cocaine OUT before they use it), and Kola nuts (which contain mega amounts of caffeine). The rest of the formula is literally in a vault in Atlanta, and the myth of only two executives knowing the formula at any given time is essentially true.
Coke started being canned in the 1950's, and its popularity soared all over the country and eventually the world.
Where to begin? There are more than listed, but variations of Coca-Cola include Diet, Caffeine Free, Vanilla, Cherry, Coke Zero, etc.
The taste of Coke leads itself well to experimentation ... for instance, when Vanilla Coke disappeared for awhile, many of us took to making our own. Try it with orange extract, grape juice, lemon, lime, even banana extract. Add other things to liven it up.
Like most of the world, we've tasted Coca-Cola in a variety of different ways. Obviously certain tastes grow on you, but for our taste test we were as objective as possible ... and still rated it 5 out of 5. It's a mainstay for a reason: coke just tastes GOOD.
One of the best ways to drink Coca-Cola is to go to a Sonic Drive-In and order it with two shots of orange flavoring.