“Coca-Cola’s success spawned a host of cola imitators. The drink that would prove Coke’s strongest and most enduring copier was conceived in a North Carolina drugstore in 1896.
“New Bern pharmacist Caleb D. Bradham, an erstwhile medical student, served dyspeptic customers a drink he had created to calm their stomachs. To his surprise it became a hit with his other patrons, who would ask for ‘Brad’s drink.’ Forfeiting his opportunity for immortality, Bradham rechristened the drink ‘Pepsi-Cola.’ The name suggested two of the drink’s ingredients, the digestive enzyme pepsin and the kola nut, in a form and cadence suggestive of Pepsi’s Atlanta competitor.”
— From “Charles E. Hires and the Drink that Wowed a Nation: The Life and Times of a Philadelphia Entrepreneur” by Bill Double (2018)