This week’s Ida Red Insider Report will center around one of our shops most nostalgic beverages, Moxie. The first time I tried Moxie, I was taken aback. Unlike many sodas, which tend to be too sugary, Moxie contained a slight bitter flavor that grew on me quickly. In fact it intrigued me so much I wanted to find out Moxie’s backstory. In 1884 Moxie was one of America’s first mass-produced soft drinks, claiming to ease a multitude of ailments from paralysis to insomnia. Moxie’s creator, Dr. Augustin Thompson, claimed that the secret ingredient gentian root extract, which at the time was unnamed, gave his beverage its medicinal qualities. Thompson named his “bitter and sweet” beverage after his fictional friend Lieutenant Moxie, whom he said discovered the gentian root. Once the soda fountain came of age in the early 20th century, other sweeter soft drinks gained popularity causing Moxie’s fame to dwindle into a regional beverage of the Northeast. Its resurrection would not come until the 1960s when MAD magazine began its ad campaign “Mad about Moxie”. Today Moxie is enjoyed worldwide for its distinctive liquorice flavor, and lucky for you it is available at both of our locations, so come by and give your life some much needed Moxie.
Our Main Street soda fountain offers Moxie in a slew of drink forms. Have it in a bottle, on ice, make it a float, add a shot of espresso to it, or even cream!
Author: Parker Childers ; Photography: Kayla Andrus