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Moxie

Beyond grocery story shelves, special Moxie collections are on display at the “Moxie Wing” of Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage and Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire (where  the world’s only surviving original Moxie Horsemobile is on display), not to mention for sale at places like Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, Hampshire and the Kennebec Fruit Co. in Lisbon Falls, Maine, where owner Frank Anicetti delights as Moxie’s unofficial ambassador.

moxie zeb's general store
Moxie items for sale at Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, NH.

While the taste of Moxie is memorably distinct, there are many who point out that if you’re trying it now for the first time, you’re still not getting the “original” Moxie experience. They say it’s not as carbonated as it used to be, or as bitter (which is a bad thing). This could be changing palates or the loss of sassafras (federally banned in 1960 as a potential carcinogen), but it could also be the high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.

Since 2007, Moxie has been owned by Japan’s Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd., which also owns the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England where Moxie is made.

moxie glass
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Moxie – New England’s signature tonic!

But like it or not, it’s ours, and has been for more than 130 years. Now that’s something to drink to!

Not in New England? Fear not! Moxie (regular, diet, and turbo-charged energy) is available for purchase online via the Moxie website, where you’ll also find historic photos and recipes for Moxie cocktails, Moxie Baked Beans, and Moxie Chocolate Cake.

Here’s to another century of Moxie!

Aimee Seavey

Author:

Aimee Seavey

Biography:

As Yankee's Digital Editor, Aimee manages, produces, and promotes content for Yankee's digital and social media initiatives. A lifelong New Englander, she loves history and a good Massachusetts South Shore bar pizza.
Updated Thursday, February 13th, 2014
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12 Responses to Moxie

  1. Phyllis Forbes Lovely March 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    I grew up drinking Moxie in Presque Isle, ME up in The County. Always loved the stuff and now that I’m away I couldn’t find it. Last summer, July 2013, I was in Maine again for the first time in years and drank as much as I could and brought home several cases to enjoy. I also visited the Moxie Museum in Lisbon and enjoyed it thoroughly having bought as reminders; Moxie t-shirts, Moxie socks; Moxie bandannas. . . . . . . it was wonderful. Maine wouldn’t be Maine without Moxie.

  2. Phyllis Forbes Lovely March 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Thank you.

  3. Jim McGrath March 27, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Living in New Jersey, my stepsons and I go to Catawissa, PA for our Moxie. It is made there as well, with one difference; Maine Moxie is made with corn syrup, and PA Moxie with cane sugar. It’s a subtle difference in taste, but we’ve had both and can tell the difference. We buy cases when we go, because it’s a 2-hour trip!

  4. Connie Fisher October 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    I’m 91 years young and grew up in the Bar Harbor area with Moxie. Have lived in the southwestern part of Ohio since 1946, having traveled back to God’s Country almost every two years. Always brought back liters of Moxie when not traveling by air. It doesn’t seem to have the same flavor I remember when much younger; however, it’s still Moxie and I love the herbal, somewhat bitter taste. It takes me back home to Maine!

  5. linda October 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I liked the Moxie of years ago much better than the ” new and improved” flavor and ingredients. I find I rarely drink it anymore for that reason.

  6. James December 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Despite being a native of the West, I’ve always liked Moxie more than the popular colas (although we think of “Shasta” as folks in Maine recall Moxie, I think!). Moxie is sold (most often as in “sold out”) in the greater Seattle and Portland metro areas, and still a wonderful treat.

  7. john almond May 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    Growing up in NH we always had Moxie. I thought it was more like medicine than anything. I live in Wyoming now and I haven’t found it anywhere in Wy.however we were in Billings, Mt this past week. We usually stop àt World Market to pick up some items and to my surprise, there were small size bottles of Moxie. So I stocked up on a few bottles.

  8. Mark Fields May 17, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    I read elsewhere (Wikipedia) that Coca Cola has no ownership of the Moxie brand? The confusion stems from Cornucopia Beverages (Moxie brand owner) being owned by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England:

    “The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England…is the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola in the United States. The Coca-Cola Company does not own an interest, as the company is 100% owned by Japan’s Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd., who also own the rights to the Moxie soft drink nationwide.”

    Can anyone verify/debunk?

    • Aimee Seavey May 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Mark! What excellent detective work! When I read that Moxie was sold to a company that was owned by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, I thought that meant Coca-Cola. However, you are right! The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, while the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola in the United States (also according to Wikipedia), is not owned by Coca-Cola, but the Japanese brewing company you mentioned. I still find the name confusing, but, of course, we’ll correct the article! Thanks for letting us know!

  9. mcgee from beverly January 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

    try the diet moxie as it is close to the original which I started drinking in the 50’s

  10. Kenneth Peterson March 13, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    A couple more corrections, in case no one else noticed…

    Moxie’s special ingredient is gentian root, not sassafras, and neither are potential carcinogens as far as I know (sassafras is used in root beer). Some folks enjoy gentian tea to calm the nerves, and they aren’t getting cancer from it. For some reason, around the time that Monarch owned Moxie, the amount of gentian extract in Moxie was reduced, and for those of us who remember the older formula, the new taste is a bit too mild.

    Pepsi’s been around for more than 100 years, not just since the ’60s.

    • Aimee Seavey March 14, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      Hi Kenneth! Thanks so much for your comments. You are absolutely right about Pepsi. It was developed and created in the 1890s, not the 19060s (that’s just when the name changed from Pepsi-Cola to Pepsi). We’ve updated the post to correct this!

      As for the gentian root, I did mention it as one of Moxie’s original ingredients, along with wintergreen, sassafras, and possibly even cocaine. I never tasted the original formula, so I can’t comment on how it’s different today, but my research says that sassafras is no longer used in commercially produced root beer since safrole oil was banned for use in commercially mass-produced foods and drugs by the FDA in 1960 due to health concerns (learn more at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2504026/). You can buy the oil commercially, though, in case you want to make your own soda at home with it. :)

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