Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moxie on Tap

I bet you didn't know that this nation's first mass-marketed soft drink originated from Maine.

It's true.

And, while it wasn't originally called this, it is known as Moxie.

Never heard of it?

Well, there's no better time to come give it a shot -- this weekend is the Annual Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls, Maine. They'll be fireworks, a parade, a river race, a carnival -- and, of course, plenty o Moxie to be drunk.

A Unique Drink
 One of the key ingredients of Moxie is "Gentian Root Extractive", making Moxie's flavor a bit more bitter than most. Unique, for certain. Curious about the taste? Watch this great YouTube clip.

The Scoop on Moxie
 Maine-r Dr. Augustin Thompson invented Moxie. The original form of Moxie was a patent medicine called "Moxie Nerve Food" (invented in 1876 by Dr. Thompson) which claimed to contain extracts from a rare plants that was supposed to be especially effective against "paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness and insomnia". After a few years, Thompson added soda water to this concoction and changed the name to "Beverage Moxie Nerve Food." By 1884, Thompson was selling the soda in bottles -- and in bulk fountain soda and it was said to be favored by President Calvin Coolidge. At one point, Moxie's ad campaigns, including an endorsement by Boston Red Sox' Ted Williams, were said to be the driving force behind the soft drink's popularity.

In recent decades, Moxie fell out of favor due to competition from Coca Cola. But, demand still exists in New England -- and the company (now owned by Coca Cola) fields requests from Moxie die-hards across the country.
I have to admit, I've only tasted Moxie once, and, well, it wasn't for me. But, there are enough die-hards out there, that it's worth a shot, if you are so inclined. And, besides, the name is SO cool.

Have a happy and Moxie-filled weekend.

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