Vin Mariani

I found this story in Barbara Holland's The Joy of Drinking about a popular beverage in the late 19th century, which had some very elevated celebrity sponsorship:

"Late in the 1800s Pope Leo XIII graciously allowed his portrait to be used on labels and advertising posters telling the world that he had awarded a gold medal "In Recognition of Benefits Received from Vin Mariani." Ads for the popular Mariani called it "For Body and Brain" and claimed that it "nourishes Fortifies Refreshes." Indeed it did. It was a sparkling red with the added benefit of a goodly dollop of cocaine. Cocaine with alcohol arms a psychoactive metabolite, cocaethylene, that blocks the dopamine transporter and produces a perfectly delicious state of euphoria, for which His Holiness was suitably grateful. So were the American presidents Grant and McKinley. So was the Russian czar. So was Queen Victoria, who took it regularly as a tonic" (73).

Well, I never! Can you imagine–our gracious queen imbibing in the same filthy habit as a dirty Papist? I vow I shall never take cocaine–I always felt it had the ring of Johnny Foreigner about it, wot wot?

I wasn't kidding about it having popular sponsorship, though.


Because if THEY can't convince you, at least this naked woman can.

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