MOXIE: The history of Maine's official soda!

In the small town of Union, Maine on November 25, 1835 a little boy named Augstin Thompson was born. This boy grew up to be the inventor of one of the longest massed produce sodas in the country.

In 1876, Dr. Augustin Thompson unveiled a new patent medicine called "Moxie Nerve Food". It was said to cure everything from paralysis to softening of the brain. The secret ingredient was the extract from some "rare South American plant" discovered by his close friend LT. Moxie.

In, 1884 Dr. Thompson began adding soda water to his medicine and it was a hit. It was sold in bottles and in syrup form to the soda fountains of the day and was an instant hit. This drink was reported to be a favorite of President Coolidge, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox's was one of spokesman for the drink and E.B White, author of "Charlotte's Web" once said “Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life.” Gentian root is still one of the main ingredients for this soda. Maybe this was the rare South American plant that Lt. Moxie discovered.

However, in the 1930s this popular soda started a decline and is now only found primarily in New England. But, in Maine this soda is long standing icon. In May of 2005, MOXIE was designated as the official soda of Maine, and every July in the small town of Lisbon Falls "all things MOXIE" are celebrated during the Moxie Festival.

Even though this soda is now a regional product it's popularity and slogans were so widespread that during the 1920s the term moxie became a part of the American language. According to moxie is defined as:

1. vigor; verve; pep. 2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve. 3. skill; know-how.

So if you ever tell someone that they have moxie you are honoring one of Maine's great native son's. And if you ever find yourself in Maine, try a MOXIE and experience the taste of Maine.

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Comments 6 comments

dale 5 years ago

I am a 52 year old maineiac born and raised in the little town of orland. 27 years ago i moved to washington state. From time to time i go on vacation to the most beautiful state i know. As soon as i land at bangor airport i have go get myself a moxie, just to prove to myself that i'm still a maineiac. thanks for still making my favorite soda. dale steele

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Lindy's World 5 years ago Author


Thank you for the comment! We just returned from Maine yesterday and I already feel its pull. And let's face it there is nothing better on a hot day than a cold Moxie! When we go back up to Maine in a couple of weeks I will make sure that I have one for you when I am "up to Camp"

Kerry Obermann 4 years ago

Did you know that Moxie was the official beverage of the New England mill-town indie film "On the Fringe"? And FunYuns were the official snack. Good taste!

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Lindy's World 4 years ago Author

Thank you Kerry! I didn't know about the movie. How cool is that.? Next Moxie I get I will try with a bag of FunYuns.

Clarence 2 years ago

I was born and lived in "The Valley" which is northern Aroostook Co. and have fond memories of Moxie and plan on bringing some back with me this fall when I vacation up there. My home is now Maryland.

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Lindy's World 2 years ago Author

We live in VA during the winter months but as soon as we come "home" we grab a bottle of Moxie and head to the lake!!! Enjoy!!!!

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