White Coke

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Marshal (here General) Georgy Zhukov requested a non-recognizable variant of Coca-Cola—the White Coke

White Coke is a moniker for a variant of Coca-Cola produced in the 1940s at the request of Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov. Coca-Cola was presented to Zhukov by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower—himself a particular fan of Coca-Cola.[1] Zhukov liked it and asked - according to technology correspondent Tom Standage (who doesn't cite any primary or secondary sources) - for its color to resemble vodka so that he would not be seen drinking Coca-Cola in public,[2] as it was regarded in the Soviet Union as a symbol of American imperialism.[3]

Marshal Zhukov placed the request with General Mark W. Clark, commander of the US sector of Allied-occupied Austria, who passed the request on to President Harry S. Truman. President Truman in turn contacted James Farley, chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Export Corporation—at the time busy establishing thirty-eight Coca-Cola plants in Southeast Europe, including Austria. Farley tasked Miladin Zarubica—a technical supervisor for The Coca-Cola Company, a son of a Yugoslav immigrant and a wartime PT boat commander, sent to Austria in 1946 to supervise establishment of a large bottling plant—with fulfilling Marshal Zhukov's request. Zarubica found a chemist who could remove the coloring from the beverage, thereby granting Marshal Zhukov's wish. The colorless version of Coca-Cola was bottled using straight, clear glass bottles sporting a white cap with a red star in the middle.[4][5] The bottle and the cap were produced by the Crown Cork and Seal Company in Brussels. The first shipment of White Coke consisted of 50 cases.[3][6]

A consequence of White Coke was circumvention of the normal import/export rules imposed by the Soviet occupation authorities. While cargo shipments transiting the Soviet occupation zone in Austria normally took weeks to clear with the authorities, Coca-Cola supplies passing through the zone on their way back and forth between the Lambach plant and the Vienna warehouse were never stopped.[6]


  1. ^ Cordelia Hebblethwaite (11 September 2012). "Who, What, Why: In which countries is Coca-Cola not sold?". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Tom Standage (2006). A History of the World in Six Glasses. Doubleday Canada. p. 256. ISBN 9780385660877. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Mark Pendergrast (15 August 1993). "Viewpoints; A Brief History of Coca-Colonization". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Marion Loeb (2 October 2005). "Raise a glass to the civilizing influences of what we drink". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. 100. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Alfred E. Eckes, Jr; Thomas W. Zeiler (2003). Globalization and the American Century. Cambridge University Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 9780521009065. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Mark Pendergrast (2000). For God, Country and Coca-Cola. Basic Books. pp. 210–211. ISBN 9780465054688. Retrieved 25 September 2012.