A "real" country ham, not a commercial one, is going to be about a year old before you would eat it. These are the ones that all the rural folks used to put up. Hogs were usually killed around Thanksgiving, or thereabouts, when it got cold enough. The commercial hams, like Clifty Farms for example, are usually ready to sell in about 4 months. The flavor from a "real" country ham really outshines the commercial ones.
I think the reason Coke or Dr. Pepper are added is in an attempt to add flavor. You don't have to do that to a genuine one.