Moxie Soda: Official Soft Drink of Maine
Moxie soda, the official soft drink of Maine, is the oldest continually produced soda in the US. Originally a “patent medicine” created by Dr. Augustin Thompson in 1876, Moxie was delivered by the spoonful. Noting the increased interest in the soft drink market in the 1800’s, Dr. Thompson modified his elixir a bit, introducing his new product as “Beverage – Moxie Nerve Food”. Early labels enthused, “the only harmless nerve food that can recover paralysis, softening of the brain and loss of manhood” among other proclamations!
A bitter almost medicinal taste, Moxie soda originally contained a mixture of oats, sassafras, wintergreen and several other not so typical soft drink ingredients (including the often suspected but not confirmed cocaine). The formula was changed several times over the years, always retaining the medicinal taste stalwart drinkers insisted on. Sassafras was outlawed by the FDA in the 1960’s, leading to even more formula changes. Modern day Moxie soda still tastes much the same as it has for over 100 years.
It certainly takes an internal fortitude to drink Moxie, hence the common definition of courage or spirit. “If you’ve got Moxie, you’ve got taste!”
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