A Look at Moxie


So, as I was getting all into root beer and whatnot, fellow SydLexia / Retrodrome / YouTuber UsaSatsui started talking about a beverage not available out here in MN (Moxie is strictly a New England thing, and apparently is the state soft drink of Maine.) “Satan’s Diarrhea” he called it, and even offered to send me some to sample. Being unsure of actually wanting to try “Satan’s Diarrhea,” I’ve decided to take a deeper look into the soft drink known as Moxie.

Moxie’s origins are in its use way back in the day as a patent medicine. It was purported to relieve “paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness, and insomnia. (Wikipedia)”  Later on, its creator added soda water to create a fizzy, unique, possibly medicinal, beverage. Apparently, it must have tasted good as it earned the endorsements of President Calvin Coolidge and Red Sox slugger Ted Williams. Even more surprising, according to the website, Moxie outsold Coca-Cola during the Roaring Twenties. Did I mention it is also the state soft drink of Maine? Surprising, especially for a beverage equated to Satan’s Diarrhea.

Okay, so now I have an idea of what it might taste like. Apparently, Moxie contains “Gentian Root Extractives,” which lend to its unique flavor. Hmmm, so an herbal/bitters flavor maybe? Satan’s Diarrhea? But former President Coolidge and Ted Williams drank it… So either they enjoyed eating shit, or had severely damaged taste buds, or maybe both. Either way, it can’t be that bad, can it?

Enough of this, its time to read some reviews. The Soda Jerks’ review of Moxie made it sound like a kick-ass root beer, until the aftertaste hit: “What was once good, would now be replaced with evil.  The taste of pennies, dirt, and un-sweetened envelope glue now dance upon your tongue.” Quaffmaster over at Weird Soda Reviews notes flavors of “mint,” “tooth-polishing compound,” “bitter herbs,” and also points out a “strong chalky component.” Reviews over at Amazon (wtf they sell this on Amazon?) note its bitterness and strictly suggest that it is an “acquired taste.” One review said of Moxie “I imagine it’s what tar tastes like.”

All this information is boggling my mind! From all I’ve collected, Moxie generally can be said to taste like shit. Now, only one question remains: Do I have the balls to sample this ‘unique’ beverage nicknamed “Satan’s Diarrhea?” I’m not giving a solid answer on that one. Maybe, but I’ll have to build up a tolerance for shitty-tasting beverages first.