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Book Talk: Moxie

  • Farnsworth House 90 South Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (map)

The phrase "She's got a lot of moxie!" is taken to mean that one has nerve, vigor, and grit. And unless born and raised in New England, Americans are generally quite unaware that the root of this expression is a bittersweet patent medicine turned soda pop originally called Moxie Nerve Food, which was guaranteed to cure nervous exhaustion and a host of associated ailments. First bottled in 1885, today it is the official soft drink of the state of Maine and still enjoyed by many. This book chronicles Moxie's rich history and brilliant marketing breakthroughs as well as some corporate misfortunes and rebounds along the way. Moxie’s World Headquarters (Moxieland) was located in Jamaica Plain from 1928 to 1953.

The authors are card-carrying members of the New England Moxie Congress. Dennis Sasseville, a sustainability specialist and author of several technical publications, resides in the hometown of the present brand owner, the Moxie Beverage Company. Merrill is the Grand Poobah of the Congress and lives a half block from where the iconic Moxie Bottle House stood before it was moved to the Moxie wing of the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments, including Moxie, will be served.