Kickapoo Joy Juice, a liquor of stupefying potency

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“Kickapoo Joy Juice” was a fictional beverage coined in the American comic strip Li’l Abner. Al Capp, the cartoonist, described the beverage as “a liquor of such stupefying potency that the hardiest citizens of Dogpatch, after the first burning sip, rose into the air, stiff as frozen codfish”. It was said to be an elixir of such power that the fumes alone have been known to melt the rivets off battleships.

Capp asserted in 1965 that the cartoon “never has suggested that the drink is moonshine”, in response to claims that the Kickapoo Joy Juice of Li’l Abner was an illicitly distilled liquor. Brewed by Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat, two of the comic strip’s backwood poachers, the ingredients of the brew are both mysterious and all-encompassing, (much like the contents of their cave, which has been known to harbor prehistoric monsters.) When a batch “needs more body,” the formidable pair simply goes out and clubs “a body” (often a moose), and tosses it in. Over the years, the “recipe” has called for live grizzly bears, panthers, kerosene, horseshoes and anvils, among other ingredients.

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Kickapoo Joy Juice is a citrus-flavored soft drink brand owned by the Monarch Beverage Company. The name was introduced in Li’l Abner, a comic strip that ran from 1934 through 1977. Although Li’l Abner’s Kickapoo Joy Juice was an alcoholic drink, the real world beverage is a lightly carbonated soft drink.

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