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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Moxie Cherry Cola

We had previously reviewed Moxie Original Elixir, and found it to be, indeed, Weird. A strange blend of bitter and sweet, cola-ish, with something that may be gentian root adding the unmistakable flavor of "take-it-it's-good-for-you" to the mix. Tasting Moxie was like a return to one's childhood--a time when things frequently made no sense to you, when we were told that "older" was synonymous with "right and good", and we had to eat and drink that which was put in front of us, because people were starving in China. Why, exactly, the fact that people were starving in China should motivate me to eat food I didn't like was not clear to me then, and whether there is a Moxie shortage in China now, thus justifying its consumption, is not clear to me now.
But I digress from today's Weird Soda, which is also Moxie. However, this is a Moxie subspecies; this is Moxie Cherry Cola (Moxie cherrycolaensis). The label claims "Since 1884", which is identical to the claim on the bottle of generic Moxie (Moxie vulgaris). This isolated prepositional phrase is left unexplained. The implication is that Moxie and its lineage have existed since 1884, but it is not explicit; it is possible that this particular bottle was sealed in 1884.
According to Wikipedia, the following events occurred in 1884:
-Dr William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Iesu Grist (Jesus Christ) Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the U.K.
-The eight-hour workday is first proclaimed by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in the United States. May 1, called May Day or Labour Day, is now a holiday recognized in almost every industrialized country.
- International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. fixes the Greenwich meridian as the world's prime meridian.
- Democrat Grover Cleveland defeats Republican James G. Blaine in a very close contest to win the first of his non-consecutive terms.

I further note that Texas Guinan and Auguste Piccard were born in January 1884 (The Star Trek fanfiction possibilities!...).

Which, if any, of these events are associated with the bottling of Moxie Cherry Cola is unclear (although I fervently hope it is not the first on the list--ewwww). And if this particular bottle was sealed in 1884, then it may well be the last I ever review. If so, someone please update Wikipedia accordingly.

Let's find out if the addition of cherryesque flavoring represents an evolutionary step for Moxie. Although...if they are both from 1884, then they may well both be descended from a pre-Moxie common ancestor. We shall call it Cro-Moxie.

Where and when: purchased April 2009 at Galco's, Los Angeles, CA
Color: very dark brown, like a dark cola.
Scent: The Junior Assistant Tester and Lead Assistant Tester both say it smells like cherry cream soda. I smell the cherry, but not the cream. It smells a lot like modern cherry cola, and--oddly--not very much like Moxie.
LAT: "More cokey."
Taste: The gentian root is entirely absent from this. It's got a strong cola taste--a lot of syrup, which is evident in the aftertaste--lingering sweet, with a fair amount of acid. The cherry taste is also strong; it's very similar to the liquid one finds around Maraschino cherries. Yeah, I drank that stuff straight from the jar, and so did you. It's neither the fake medicine-y cherry nor the popsicle cherry flavors discussed in the review of Red Ribbon Cherry; a new cherry flavor.
Actually, this is almost exactly like what you would get mixing regular Coke with maraschino cherry juice. Which is good. Very good.
The aftertaste is sweet and acid, and my teeth feel quite sticky.
Possibly the best cherry cola I've had.
And it doesn't taste anything like regular Moxie, which is also good.
LAT: "Cherry coke, or maybe strawberry coke."
JAT: "Yeah."

Quaff rating: 4. Excellent cherry cola.
Cough rating: 0.5. Slightly oversyrupy, to the point of stickiness.


  1. A Moxie without the Moxie taste is not a Moxie regardless of name or date of bottling. There is only one Moxie. I love it and cannot even bring myself to try a Moxie Cherry Cola or even a Diet Moxie. (I can't imagine competing after-tastes.)

    I am pleased that you purchased it in Los Angeles. I live in New York and drive to Maine periodically to get my stock replenished. No, it isn't the only reason I go but regardless I don't come home without several cases.

  2. Do not fear the Moxie cherry cola. It will not detract from the bubbly mix of fascination, horror, and odd compulsion that is the original Moxie.

  3. Big fan of the original Moxie so I am now on the lookout for this! If Jungle Jim's market in Cincinnati doesn't have it I'll be surprised. They have everything, and I mean everything.

  4. Big fan of the original Moxie so I am now on the lookout for this! If Jungle Jim's market in Cincinnati doesn't have it I'll be surprised. They have everything, and I mean everything.


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