From the very beginning, it was clear that George Lee Wainscott was driven by an independent ambition. His pioneering spirit led him to establish a soft drink company in 1902 after laying eyes on a carbonation machine. The engineering advancement fascinated the already successful business man.
Wainscott used the carbonation machine to bottle and distribute distilled water and fruit flavored sodas out of a building on North Main Street in Winchester, KY. These products were at the forefront of society, but were not proprietary. Wainscott thought it wise to develop his own formulas. His first signature recipe came in 1906, a cola product, Roxa-Kola, named after his wife, Roxanne.
His quest took him to northern Europe where he discovered ginger beer. Ginger beer, spicy and hot to the palate, but the flavor was unique. As a twenty-year veteran in the soft drink industry, Wainscott toned down the spice and began experimenting. He worked to perfect his recipe until he found it. The combination of ginger with citrus was just right: not too hot and not too sweet.
With his vision now bottled, he had to find a way to introduce it. The 1926 Clark County Fair was the ideal place as everyone would be there. To draw attention to his product tasting, Wainscott held a contest to name his new recipe. A young fairgoer thought the newest innovation in soft drinks should be called what it was, the latest thing. The entry, chosen above all others was “A Late One”, 1920s slang for “the latest thing” in soft drinks.
Years of unconditional loyalty followed. Tried and true, the company and the family secret stayed protected through four generations.