Like with beer, just a few major players control much of the American soda industry. But independent soda-pop companies have been operating in the U.S. for nearly two centuries, and if you look hard enough, you can still find the fizz that ruled the fountain before Pepsi and Coke. Here’s the 10 best flavored tonic water that democratized America has to offer. Starting with one that has some serious staying power.
Moxie may not be classically tasty, but we have to respect it as a proto-soda: It was the first bottled carbonated beverage in America. The bitter drink gets its flavor from gentian root and was originally advertised as having medicinal benefits (It doesn’t). “Moxie” means “force of character, determination, or nerve,” and you’ll probably need one or all three of those to get through a full bottle. OK, so it’s an acquired taste, but somebody must like it; they’ve been bottling Moxie in Maine since 1885.