An unusual soft drink called Moxie is about to return to a big section of upstate New York where it hasn't been easily obtainable for decades.

Moxie soda is about to receive widespread distribution in places like Binghamton, Syracuse and Rochester. The beverage is billed as "distinctively different."

The "Moxie Man" image appears on containers of the soft drink. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The soft drink developed by a physician in Massachusetts in the late 19th century features a flavor derived from gentian root extract. It sold fairly well for several decades but has generally been available only in New England in recent years.

That's about to change. Coca-Cola acquired the brand from a New Hampshire-based bottler and Moxie distribution is about to expand.

Lucia Ouellette of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England said "a lot of people are excited" that Moxie is about to be available in more places.

Retailers in the Binghamton area have been told to expect their first Moxie shipments in January. Ouellette said some places may get it sooner.

Moxie fans acknowledge the soda is something of an acquired taste. Many concede that you either love it or hate it.

In 2005, Moxie fans convinced Maine lawmakers to designate the soda as that state's "official beverage."

Fans of Moxie celebrate the beverage every July with a festival in Lisbon Falls, Maine. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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