March 22, 2002
9:24 PM   Subscribe

If you grew up in or around New England you're probably familiar with a carbonated concoction called Moxie. Tastewise, it's kind of a love or hate deal and I fall squarely in the love camp. And I'm not alone apparently. The history of the product is actually pretty interesting. For those whose thirst has been stoked, here's a list places to get it.
posted by jonmc (34 comments total)
FYI, Moxie made a brief appearance at MeFi, last year.
posted by jpoulos at 9:26 PM on March 22, 2002

oops, I swear I searched.
posted by jonmc at 9:28 PM on March 22, 2002

Moxie is positively noxious stuff, how can you possibly drink it? It tastes like someone used an empty soda can as their chewing tobacco spitoon, shook it up, and re-sealed it. Good lord, just thinking of the stuff makes me ill....
posted by hincandenza at 9:31 PM on March 22, 2002

Maybe being a smoker, I like the spitoon taste, hincandenza, I dunno, it grows on you somehow like dark beer or blue cheese.
posted by jonmc at 9:36 PM on March 22, 2002

warning - annoying music on first link.

That said: Oh god, Moxie. When I first came to New England, I tried so hard to fit in - I ordered coffee "regular", I asked for "quah-tahs" to put in the pool table, I even got used to brown eggs.

Moxie's different.

As the links point out, only Maine-ahs now drink Moxie in any volume.

I'll take New England and it's oddities. I'll even take Maine, to an extent, but as for Moxie, "Ya can't they-ah from he-ah".
posted by yhbc at 9:38 PM on March 22, 2002

As far as taste is concerned:

Coke is to Pepsi
As Pepsi is to RC
As RC is to Moxie

It sounds strange but trust me.
posted by pjdoland at 9:50 PM on March 22, 2002

Moxie! Moxie reminds me of Marmite, a sharp-tasting brown substance that an old New Zealand friend of mine used to eat. That's another one of them 'love it or hate it' substances. I'm trying to think of other foods like that, but I can only think of cilantro and BlackJack gum. Oh! And the New York equivalent of Moxie, Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda. Celery flavoured soda? Eeek!

There's a beautiful old Moxie advertising display in the vestible of the New York Historical Society, for those that visit there.
posted by evanizer at 9:54 PM on March 22, 2002

please insert "git" between "can't" and "they-ah" for the proper stereotypical Maine phrase
posted by yhbc at 10:01 PM on March 22, 2002

Who's got Moxie? PopSoda's got Moxie!

Original, Cherry, Cream.
posted by jazon at 10:18 PM on March 22, 2002

You've gotta lotta moxie kid (insert grrr onomatopoeia within the mmm in 'moxie').

I've been saying that obsessively for weeks now. I had to write that for my own mental well being.

Oh yeah, what's that from?
posted by crasspastor at 10:18 PM on March 22, 2002

kinda off-topic, but it may be of interest: i used to contract for a girl's magazine called moxie girl [since folded] that had to change it's name to mxg because of the afformentioned beverage. even after moxie's lawyers made them change their name they started collecting moxie memoribilia and i even got to taste some of the utterly foul beverage when someone had it imported for kicks.

i guess it's what people would consider an "acquired taste"...
posted by boogah at 10:19 PM on March 22, 2002

Never tried Moxie, having never been to where it's sold. But Abbie Hoffman loved the stuff.
Surely it can't be worse than Yoo Hoo.
posted by StOne at 10:43 PM on March 22, 2002

My sis sent me some Yoo Hoos in '99, I used to trade one Yoo-Hoo for 2 Coke cans. I never liked the stuff, and there were plenty of upstate and north country New Yorkers to trade with.
posted by riffola at 11:06 PM on March 22, 2002

Well, I've been looking for a nerve food that would take care of my brain exhaustion, loss of manhood and imbecility...

(claims made on original Moxie label):
Contains not a drop of Medicine, Poison, Stimulant or Alcohol. But is a simple sugarcane-like plant grown near the Equator and farther south, was lately accidentally discovered by Lieut. Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion, loss of manhood, imbecility and helplessness. It has recovered paralysis, softening of the brain, locomotor ataxia, and insanity when caused by nervous exhaustion. It gives a durable solid strength, makes you eat voraciously, takes away the tired, sleepy, listless feeling like magic, removes fatigue from mental and physical over work at once, will not interfere with action of vegetable medicines.
posted by planetkyoto at 12:24 AM on March 23, 2002

If you're from New England and want the *best* of the local soda, pick up a Black Cherry Mad River. Damned intoxicating. I remember going to "Moxie Days" in some small Maine town (Scarborough? I'm not sure now), where they turned the whole town into one of those fairs in small New England towns that don't require a separate fairgrounds.

Can't say the soda is all too good, though.
posted by Kevs at 1:05 AM on March 23, 2002

Kev: Moxie days is in Lisbon Maine, chummy. Being from "away" myself, I had to try it. Once. Kinda tastes to me how I imagine coal tar would taste. Ayup.
posted by SteveInMaine at 2:02 AM on March 23, 2002

posted by crunchland at 4:35 AM on March 23, 2002

Oh, this is eerie. A friend of mine just found out what Moxie was and I had to explain the history of it to him.

Moxie is evil, but it's a good evil, like Tab.
posted by j.edwards at 4:49 AM on March 23, 2002

Moxie is like carpet tacks dipped in brown sugar and bile, which are then inserted under each eyelid.

I'm a fan.
posted by dong_resin at 5:52 AM on March 23, 2002

The only thing more noxious than Moxie is Diet Moxie (with saccharine, not NutraSweet). They don't even make it any more, although it was probably good as a paint remover.

When I was very little, I actually liked Moxie, but cannot stand the stuff now.

The Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls ought to be more interesting this year, now that all the aliens from Area 51 have relocated to the old mill. (yes, that's a self-link)
posted by briank at 6:50 AM on March 23, 2002

Ah, where do I start. I was born way up north in Maine and I think Moxie is in my blood. After living all over the country I moved back to Maine in 1997 and now I am living in NH. Moxie has a weird power over people. I have seen folks from California load up station wagons full of the stuff to haul back. There are about 6-8 Moxie drinkers where I am going to school right now including myself. We even have it in the Cokeā„¢ machine.
I do admit that it tastes a bit like rust at first...but give it time. I have been skimming through Vol. 1 of the Moxie encyclopedia for the last few months and it is actually a pretty interesting history.
The yearly celebration in Lisbon Falls is, I am told, incredible. I have known two people in the past few years whose sisters have been the honorary Moxie Girl. Moxie is the primordial came first, and was also the first pop to be mass marketed. What a great post to wake up to on a Saturday morning.
There are a million ways to drink it. After you get used to it (which you will) I recommend trying it with a shot of heavy cream.
posted by anathema at 7:03 AM on March 23, 2002

briank, Diet Moxie is alive and well. I buy it in huge quantities every summer at Cronig's Up-Island on the Vineyard. Can't remember whether it's sweetened with saccharine or Nutra-Sweet, though. Gentian root is the thing that makes it so bitter, though. Moxie is definitely old New England. I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere else.

And for the nay-sayers: I'm sure you all loved your first beer, too. Show some character.
posted by ClydeCrashcup at 8:09 AM on March 23, 2002

Moxie makes an interesting cocktail mixer, too. I mixed it with Bacardi, just for the hell of it once. Not for the faint of heart, but nice in a back porch drinkin' kinda way.
I did love my first beer, Clyde.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on March 23, 2002

I hate the fact that Coke stopped making Surge for the New England area, it was much better than Mountain Dew.
posted by riffola at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2002

I wonder if there's a market for micro-sodas, just like there is for micro-beers...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 AM on March 23, 2002

fff - There definitely is, especially for root beer, once you've tried Virgil's A&W just wont cut it-although I still have a soft spot for Hires.

Actually, whenever I'm visiting someplace, if I see a soft drink I haven't seen before I'll buy a bottle, which has led me to some neat stuff.
posted by jonmc at 10:16 AM on March 23, 2002

Marmite is British. It is very popular here.
posted by davidgentle at 11:05 AM on March 23, 2002

I wonder if there's a market for micro-sodas, just like there is for micro-beers...

Well, there are plenty of such things available -- Jones Soda for instance. I have no idea if anyone's actually buying it (I never have), but I see Jones and other brands in the stores out here.
posted by kindall at 11:20 AM on March 23, 2002

As far as gross soda goes, you'd be hard pressed to beat Scotland's own Iron Bru.

I don't know what sort of market research leads to carbonated cyanide with a dash of ear wax, but I'm guessing a gas leak was involved.
posted by dong_resin at 11:42 AM on March 23, 2002

I have no idea if anyone's actually buying it

Jones rules! No, it actually does. I purchase it regularly, as to several people I know. Also, at least in the Seattle area, the Boylan Bottling Company is alive and well producing fine sodas, along with the venerable Thomas Kemper.

I'm.. Um... A soda buff.
posted by j.edwards at 12:34 PM on March 23, 2002

My fiance is hooked on this stuff.
posted by anathema at 3:22 PM on March 23, 2002

I successfully avoided Moxie for all of my eight years in Maine. Actually, I had one sip once and that did it for me. Here in Western Massachusetts we've got our own locally brewed soda's called Squeeze. I was going to do one of those Zagat type links - some like it, some don't - but all I could find was the we don't like it at all link. Really, its not that bad.
posted by dhacker at 4:52 PM on March 23, 2002

I meant to add a link to this page, a fairly complete listing of micro beverages available.
posted by dhacker at 4:55 PM on March 23, 2002

Last time we were in New England, we picked up a couple of bottles of Moxie. My fiancee loved the idea of the drink. Then we got home.

Gawd, what vile stuff!

I tried, really I did. That bottle sat in the refrigerator for months.

I don't mind a good spicy soft drink, but damn, Moxie tastes awful....
posted by geneablogy at 10:44 PM on March 23, 2002

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