Moxie was created in 1876 by Dr. Augustin Thompson, formerly of Union, Maine, while he was employed by the Ayer Drug Company in Lowell, Massachusetts. Accordingly, Moxie stands today as Maine's state beverage. Moxie was first marketed as a patent medicine in Lowell, Massachusetts, under the product name "Moxie Nerve Food."
From 1928 through 1953 Moxie was bottled at 74 Heath St. in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, Massachusetts. The building, known as Moxieland, featured an advertisement on the roof along with an arrow pointing in the direction of Logan Airport. Moxie was said to cure ailments ranging from "softening of the brain" to "loss of manhood."
In 1884, it was sold in carbonated form and merchandised as an invigorating drink, which claimed to endow the drinker with "spunk." In the early phase of its life as a recreational soft drink, Moxie is said to have been kept handy by bartenders to give to customers who were too drunk to be given any more alcohol. This story may be apocryphal, however, inspired by Moxie's noted aftertaste, which many people find unpleasantly strong.
The popularity of Moxie produced popular advertising jingles, such as "Just Make It Moxie for Mine," and President Calvin Coolidge was known to have favored the drink. Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams endorsed Moxie. Author E. B. White, an adopted Mainer and noted Moxie fan, once wrote, "Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life."
Moxie was designated on May 10, 2005, as the official state soft drink of Maine.