Kickapoo Joy Juice

Kickapoo Joy Juice is a citrus-flavored soft drink brand owned by the Monarch Beverage Company.[2][3][4] The name was introduced in Li'l Abner, a comic strip that ran from 1934 through 1977.[5][6][7] Although Li'l Abner's Kickapoo Joy Juice was an alcoholic drink, the real world beverage is a lightly carbonated soft drink.[1][8]

Kickapoo Joy Juice
TypeSoft drink
DistributorMonarch Beverage Company
Country of originUnited States
VariantsKickapoo Fruit Shine
Kickapoo Fuzzy Navel
Kickapoo Malibu
Related productsMountain Dew

Li'l Abner

"Kickapoo Joy Juice" was a fictional beverage coined in the American comic strip Li'l Abner.[7] 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".[3][4][9] 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.[1][10][11] Brewed by Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat, two of the comic strip's backwoods poachers, the ingredients of the brew are both mysterious and all-encompassing,[12] (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.[4] Over the years, the "recipe" has called for live grizzly bears, panthers, kerosene, horseshoes and anvils, among other ingredients.


The real world drink was introduced in 1965 under NuGrape, a former brand of the Monarch Beverage Company.[1] That year, Nugrape worked out a deal with Al Capp, the owner of the "Kickapoo Joy Juice" rights, to produce the beverage as a carbonated soft drink. Capp, however, would have the last word on all advertising and promotion.[1] Kickapoo Joy Juice's early advertising campaign was very similar to Mountain Dew's of the time – using characters from Li'l Abner to create and market a hillbilly feeling.[13] Although the product is distributed largely in Asian markets (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia and Bangladesh), the can still comes decorated with a vintage Li'l Abner drawing.[14]

The Wall Street Journal had a regular feature on mixed drinks, and once published in it a recipe for Kickapoo Joy Juice. The backstory is that it had been illicit hooch ginned up by soldiers during World War II, often starting from alcohol intended for fuel for torpedoes and the like.


  • Kickapoo Joy Juice (original)
  • Kickapoo Fruit Shine (Sangria flavored)
  • Kickapoo Fuzzy Navel (peach flavored)
  • Kickapoo Malibu (piña colada flavored)
  • Kickapoo Lemonade (Lemon flavored)

See also


  1. Conway, Patrick (12 February 1965). "'Kickapoo Joy Juice' aims at a younger set". Gasden Times. p. 7. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  2. Quek, Regina (17 April 2009). "Use of unauthorized beverage bases infringes KICKAPOO marks" (PDF). World Trademark Review. Singapore. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. "Kickapoo Joy Juice". Monarch Beverages. 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  4. "Kickapoo Joy Juice". Capp Enterprises. 2005. Archived from the original on 2 November 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  5. "Press: Mr. Dogpatch". Time. 19 November 1979. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  6. Bartimum, Tad (7 December 1980). "Kickapoo Indians Pay High Price for Tradition". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  7. Carlson, Walter (8 February 1965). "Advertising: Kickapoo Mellows With Age". The New York Times. p. 35. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  8. Kovell (22 January 1983). "Li'l Abner was subject of toys". The Free Lance–Star. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  9. "The Press: Die Monstersinger". Time. 6 November 1950. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  10. Leger, Richard R. (19 April 1965). "Hillbilly Names Help 'Moonshine' Soda Pop Grab Teen-Age Sales". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  11. Hiley H. Ward, ed. (1985). Media History Digest. 5. Ferdinand C. Teubner. Media History Digest Corp. p. 46.
  12. Kickapoo Joy Juice page at
  13. Hollis, Tim (May 2008). Ain't that a knee-slapper: rural comedy in the twentieth century. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-934110-73-7. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  14. DiStefano, Joe (19 April 2008). "Malaysian Snack Attack". Gourmet. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2010.

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