What is Moxie Original Elixir?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: December 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Have you ever heard of Moxie Original Elixir? This drink made big waves in the beverage industry when it first launched in the 1800s. Seriously. It was practically life-changing. 

Today, it’s still widely available (and popular!) in the United States. Fans of the beverage love it for its exciting history and unique taste. And honestly, we get the hype!

So what exactly is Moxie? Where did it come from? What does it taste like? We’re going to answer all of your questions in this article today! So sit back, relax, and keep reading!

What was Moxie Originally Used for?

Okay, this might surprise you, but Moxie wasn’t always intended to be a delicious soft drink. It was originally used as a remedy for paralysis, insomnia, and other problems. Who would’ve thought?

The year is 1876, and Augustin Thompson has just launched something called “Moxie Nerve Food.” Believe it or not, this wasn’t supposed to be a tasty thirst quencher. Instead, it originated as a patent medicine to treat and prevent disease.

That’s right! It wasn’t a mere drink. It was medicine — and it had the power to cure several health concerns successfully. Isn’t that amazing?

Moxie’s remarkable healing properties are linked to one secret ingredient: an extract from a special South American plant! Though the plant was rare and unidentified then, it is now widely known as a gentian root. 

According to Thompson, Moxie was very effective against “paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness, and insomnia.” Honestly, it was pretty much like magic!

The beverage was named after one of Thompson’s friends, Lieutenant Moxie. This friend is the one who discovered the gentian root and began to use it as a panacea. 

Now you’re probably wondering: when did Moxie become a carbonated beverage? The answer is 1884! Thompson decided to add soda water to the original creation and change the name to “Beverage Moxie Nerve Food.” And boom! The Moxie we know and love was officially born.

Almost instantly, Thompson sold it in bottles and as a fountain syrup. And before you knew it, Moxie was everywhere! By 1885, he officially received a trademark for it — and the rest is history. 

Who Owns Moxie Now?

As we discussed earlier, Moxie was launched by Augustin Thompson as a patent medicine in 1884. Today, it is owned by none other than the globally renowned Coca-Cola Company. Woah.

moxie cola vs coca cola

By this point, you know all about Moxie’s incredible origin and rise to fame. But how did this drink end up being owned by beverage giant Coca-Cola? Well, allow us to explain!

In 2018, the company announced that it would buy the brand from its partner, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern England. But what prompted the soda behemoth to make this decision in the first place?

Recently, Coca-Cola has been all about acquisitions. The company is going all out and doing whatever it takes to dominate the beverage industry. Its primary goal at the moment is to diversify its portfolio. And what better way to do that than to purchase the regional soda brand, Moxie?

Perhaps it was Moxie’s branding that intrigued the beverage company. The drink’s promise to strengthen and invigorate its consumers is enough to draw anyone’s attention. On top of that, the bright packaging, unique history, and nostalgic aura add to its appeal.

Honestly, this is a really smart decision. With carbonated beverages gradually declining in sales throughout the United States, this soda company needs to take prompt action. And well, Moxie ticks all the boxes.

For starters, it has a plant-based ingredient and a “distinctively different” flavor, which means it’s a fantastic way to maintain market share. So what’s not to love? 

Moving forward, Coca-Cola wishes to stay true to Moxie’s Northeastern roots and plans to market it to a new generation of soda drinkers in the country. 

Fun fact: Moxie is now the official soda of the state of Maine! And every year, it is honored and celebrated at the Moxie Festival in Lisbon, Maine. The festival attracts thousands of visitors and speaks volumes about the drink’s significance.

Does Moxie Still Contain Gentian Root?

To put it simply, yes! After all, the extract from this special plant is what makes this drink so unique in the first place. Without gentian root, the flavor just wouldn’t be the same. So if you’ve been curious about its taste, you can rest assured that these cans still have what you want!

What is the Taste of Moxie Soda?

The drink’s taste is so unique that even die-hard fans find it hard to explain. The flavor can best be described as bittersweet. You could say it tastes like black licorice or perhaps root beer but with a bitter aftertaste, thanks to the gentian root extract. Moxie calls it an acquired taste!

What are Moxie’s Nutritional Facts and Ingredients Today?

Though Moxie is a unique beverage, it still has many of the same elements as its competitors, except for gentian root extract! The formula includes carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and more. Unfortunately, it’s also loaded with lots of calories and (you guessed it) sugar!

Let’s go over some nutritional facts. In a 12-ounce can of Moxie, here’s what you can expect:

  • 140 calories 
  • 65 milligrams of sodium 
  • 37 grams of sugar 
moxie nutritional facts

In a 20-ounce bottle, here’s what those numbers look like:

  • 230 calories 
  • 110 milligrams of sodium
  • 62 grams of sugar
coke nutrition facts

One look at these stats is enough to confirm that there isn’t much nutritional value here. To put things into perspective, one 12-ounce Coke contains 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar, whereas one 12-ounce Pepsi contains 150 calories and 41 grams of sugar. So though Moxie has slightly less sugar than the two, it’s still a lot for just one little can of soda!

Such an excessive amount of sugar can have terrible effects on the human body. Studies show that a high sugar intake is linked to increased risks of diabetes and heart disease, which means we should all think twice before consuming one too many fizzy drinks in a single sitting. 

Now let’s talk about Moxie’s ingredients. Here’s what you’ll typically find in these unique beverages:

  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup 
  • Gentian root extractives
  • Natural and artificial flavors 
  • Caramel color
  • Sodium benzoate 
  • Phosphoric acid 
  • Caffeine
  • Citric acid 

If you’re wondering what this means, let us give you the 411. Okay, we know this isn’t what you want to hear, but these ingredients aren’t quite what you think they are. Unfortunately, they might be health hazards.

Let’s take a look at high fructose corn syrup. This artificial sugar is sadly linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. 

Phosphoric acid, too, is a recipe for disaster. Studies indicate that this chemical is linked to osteoporosis and tooth decay, which is just about the last thing we want.

Even the caramel color isn’t quite what it seems! As appealing as it may be to the eye, 4-Mel is a potential carcinogen that can cause cancer. 

You’d think at least the caffeine in these drinks would be beneficial. And yes, caffeine is known to provide energy, enhance mood, and boost performance. However, there’s a catch. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to side effects quicker than you can say Moxie! Some of the said side effects include anxiety, nausea, and insomnia. 

Don’t let us scare you! If you find yourself craving these drinks, a good ol’ can or two won’t do much harm. Just keep a close eye on your consumption! The less you drink it, the better.

What are the Unique Advertising Methods Used by Moxie?

Talk about uniqueness! Along with having a distinct flavor, the brand also has distinct advertising methods. One of the brand’s most exciting tools was the Moxie Horse Mobile. And if there’s one thing that always remains consistent, it’s the iconic “Moxie Man” logo!

moxie advertisement

Some things never change. We suppose one of them is Moxie’s emphasis on its impossible-to-miss “Moxie Man” logo! You know what we’re talking about. It’s the picture of the man with his finger pointing directly at you. You can’t look away from it, can you?

Aside from the logo, Moxie features slogans like “Just Make It Moxie for Mine” in its ads to draw in customers. And did you know that the brand has even created catchy radio jingles in the past? So it’s safe to say they’ve put in the effort here. 

Perhaps one of the unique advertising tools was the Moxie Horse Mobile, an automobile whose driver sits on a model of a horse. These horses were attached to trailers with sodas and typically parked near public events like fairs and parades. This idea successfully sold more drinks and made customers subconsciously link Moxie with joy. Genius!

moxie horse mobile

These innovative Horsemobiles effortlessly got the job done and left a long-lasting impression on the soft drink industry in the 1900s. This brilliant technique shows that Moxie is a force to be reckoned with. 


Did you know that moxie is a Native American word that means “dark water?” Guess you learn something new every day!

As the first bottled carbonated beverage and the oldest continually produced soft drink in the United States, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the hype is all about.

Today, this New England classic is consumed and appreciated all over the United States — and for a good reason! There’s just something oh-so fascinating about it.

Curious about the tempting taste? Make a trip to your nearest grocery store to find out what it’s like for yourself!