Earlier this year, at the Saco River Market in Biddeford, I had a happy encounter with Maple-Moxie Squares, courtesy of A.F. Murray + Co. Confections. The baker told me she often boiled Moxie down to a concentrated syrup and then deployed it as she would vanilla extract. How clever, I thought to myself. Why isn’t everyone in Maine cooking with Moxie?

To celebrate that thought, and this week’s Moxie Festival, we bring you Smoky Moxie Pork Wings. The recipe was entered in the 2013 Moxie Festival recipe contest by Winslow resident Kathie Veilleux, according to the blog of Julie-Ann Baumer, who used to organize the festival’s recipe contest. Last year, the festival skipped its recipe contest, but this year it’s back on the schedule. As the festival website says in part, “Moxie lovers from near and far make food taste better by adding Moxie soda to the mix.” We’ll drink (Moxie) to that.

SMOKY MOXIE PORK RIBS

Slightly adapted.

1 pound pork ribs

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and minced

2 cans Moxie

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

¼ cup molasses

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Parboil the pork ribs. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for just a minute or 2 until the kitchen smells nice. Add the Moxie and boil until the mixture is reduced to 1½ cups liquid. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer the mixture until it has reduced again and thickened to about 1½ cups of liquid. Cool to room temperature. Stir in the parboiled wings, coat well in marinade and place in a sealed container or zip-lock bag overnight in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat, heat the grill and grill the meat until it is falling off the bone.