Can Coca-Cola be used as chamar medina? What drinks are permitted to be used as chamar medina? I know that the rule is a beverage that one would serve to an important guest besides wine or grape juice, but what drinks are allowed to be used?
The term “chamar medina” means “the wine or the land”, meaning that this type of drink is served instead of wine, of that it has a prominence like wine, in the sense that one would serve it to a guest, not to quench thirst, but are as an honor. Therefore according to many poskim Coca Cola, as with other sodas, does not fit into this category, as it is merely carbonated water with flavor, and people drink it more for thirst than for prominence.
Drinks that char medina would be whiskey, brandy, and beer, and according to some poskim, coffee, tea, or Orange Juice. It is important to note, that what will be considered chamar medina can vary from country to country and from time to time, based on the local customs.
Igros Moshe O:CH 2-75, Divrei Chachomim 227, in the name of R’ Y. Kaminetsky zt”l, Shmiras Shabos Khilchoso 60-7, Kavod Voneg shabbos Chapter 13.