Taste Test: Moxie

09/15/2009 at 20:39 | Posted in Boston, food | 1 Comment


Yesterday, while browsing the local Market Basket, I came across a one liter bottle of Moxie. I did a double take, thinking I’d read the label wrong. It was Moxie. I thought for certain this stuff had disappeared sometime in the 40’s when the FDA started cracking down on “elixir” drinks that contained stuff like cocaine, lead, and turpentine. Naturally, being a sucker for kitsch, I got some.

I gave it all night to get properly cold and cracked into it this afternoon. The smell from the opening of the bottle was a surprisingly generic cola smell; sweet and brown. When I poured it in the glass it “opened up” with a very cough syrupy nose. Think cherry menthol. Upon tasting it, I was quite surprised. The medicinal smell gave way to an herbal, pungent flavor combined with a simple cola. Sort of a less sweet, more simple root beer. This must be due to the “gentian root.” Apparently, this is the main ingredient in angostura bitters, a common cocktail mixer. However, the flavor of it works to compliment the sweetness with more of a curious tone than an offensive one.


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  1. hi,
    i saw your post on moxie while cruzing your blog for design fodder. I just so happen to be the guy who redesigned the brand last year. the bottle you show is the previous brand attempt, which we refer to as “the swirl”. We still dont know what it was all about. Nevertheless, our research showed that there was still a deep rooted fan base, a rabid fan base i might ad. For that reason we fell back on heritage and history and decided to bring back the moxie man personality as well as a tagline we found in some of the older ads “distinctively different” which we felt not only embodied the taste but the audience/fans who love the stuff.

    so go find some new cans and bottles and help moxie get back into style. the flavor is much more palletable than it used to be. Its really just a variation on the cola taste, not the horrible elixer medicine it used to be many years ago. So its quite enjoyable. We all drink it regularly in the office, and I have become very fond of the brand and its 100+ year history. An amazing thing for a brand!

    Thanks for the post, and trying the soda.

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