I got to try two different regional sodas, the first I’m posting about is Moxie, which is mostly a thing in the upper parts of New England, but there is a small following for the stuff here in PA. I bought a sixer of glass bottles, the lone bottling plant that makes Moxie in PA makes it with sugar, as God and the Moxie Guy intended. I tried the first directly from the bottle, chilled.
When they say it’s distinctively different, they are correct. The first thing you notice is the smell of the gentian root. When you taste Moxie, the first sip has a really medicinal taste and funk to it. This initial sip is probably where it loses most people, which is unfortunate, because this is actually quite a good soda once you develop a taste for it, it grows on you. The gentian root is a bitter root that is said to have medicinal quantities. Moxie, like many of the earliest sodas, was advertised as a medicinal tonic, and those roots show in the taste of the drink. As for the soda, if I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a cross between Coca-Cola and Root Beer with the gentian root offering it’s own bitter, herbal, almost liquorice-like, slightly medicinal and taste to the mix. As you drink it, the medicinal taste settles and the pleasant bitter and herbal qualities of the gentian root come to the fore. I could see it also being very good as a mixer, or added to desserts for a unique twist. I have a feeling Moxie would make a kickass ice cream flavor, the milk would probably tame the gentian funk some and make it more palatable for a broader audience.
If you get a chance to try Moxie, do so, but *don’t* give up on it after the first sip, finish the glass or bottle, then form an initial opinion. I think a lot of people decide they hate it because it’s an old fashion flavor, it’s not what we’re used to in a soda, and they’re missing out by not finishing their glass or bottle and letting their palate adjust to the initial shock of bitterness and medicinal funk the gentian brings.
I quite like Moxie, and it’s growing on me.