Don’t have a favorite president? Not sure who to toast? Here’s a somewhat incomplete list of a number of U.S. Presidents and their favorite alcoholic libations:
John Adams – Our second president drank Cider each morning with breakfast and beer after that. That-a-boy, John. Get started early!
John Kennedy – JFK loved him some daiquiris and foo-foo drinks, and he really liked Heineken beer, which caused a minor stir with the press when it was discovered, as Heineken was imported.
Bill Clinton – In his youth at Georgetown, it is said he loved a Snakebite. The size of the capillaries on his nose says he still liked to imbibe later in life, too.
Richard Nixon- Tricky Dick loved to drink very expensive wine himself, and serve very cheap wine to guests. Figures. He also liked Rum & Coke and other island-like drinks.
Barack Obama- The Present Prez likes beer, though exactly what his favorite label is in unclear. There are honey ales currently served to guests in the White House made from honey produced by bees on the White House grounds. Let’s pretend that, as a Chicago transplant, he prefers Goose Island, particularly their Bourbon County line.
Gerald Ford – Gerald loved a gin & tonic so much that his staff had to tell him to cut back after becoming president. I hope he fired his staff.
Harry Truman – Harry loved Bourbon. Good for you, Harry. Kindred souls, we are.
FDR- Rum and gin cocktails. FDR loved cocktails. How very New York of him.
George Washington – Ole #1 liked dark homebrewed beers, particularly porters. He also made Rye Whiskey on his estate, though he apparently didn’t drink it often. He is credited with being America’s first commercial distiller. 1st President vs. 1st Commercial Distiller…hard to tell which one is more prestigious.
Thomas Jefferson – TJ was a wine snob and visionary. He foresaw the days when American wine could compete with Old World vino. How right he was! Granted, he pictured those grapes grown in Virginia rather than California, but I think he can be forgiven that. TJ grew grapes commercially for wine production on his personal property. Very enterprising.
James Madison – Mad Jimmy Madison (As I’m sure all his “boys” called him) drank Champagne, but only in moderation. He claimed he got hangover headaches after only a couple glasses. No wonder he was “mad.”
James Monroe – James loved both Wine & Champagne. Meh. No particularly funny angles on that. Boooooooring!
John Quincy Adams – John Quincy Adams was a prodigious Madeira taster and drinker, at one time identifying the vintage and type of 11 out of 14 blind-tasted samples. That’s dedication to a craft.
Andrew Jackson – Old Hickory drank Whiskey. Lots of it. L-O-T-S of it.
U.S. Grant – Grant was a heavy drinker of pretty much anything, particularly Champagne. Ironically, he had a surprisingly low tolerance, becoming drunk (and apparently acting a fool) rather quickly.
Franklin Pierce – Franky Boy drank pretty much anything, and as much of it as he could get his hands on. Not so ironically, he died of cirrhosis of the liver. Yikes.
Grover Cleveland – Likely amongst the most prodigious drinkers of our Commanders-in-chief, Grover promised to limit himself to 4 beers per day while in office. When that proved too great a task, and still being a man of his word, he simply got larger and larger glasses and stuck to his limit. Ingenuity is a great character trait for a president.
William Howard Taft – Taft was fond of a Bronx Cocktail, which is a Chilled martini with shot of OJ. I think the word we’re looking for here is “yuck.”
Martin Van Buren – Continuing our run of “Presidents-I-know-very-little-about-other-than-their-name,” MVB drank whiskey and gin, as often as he could get it, and in as much quantity as he could procure.
William Henry Harrison – Billy Hank drank hard cider. He would fit in well in London these days. Although with the rain and cool weather there…maybe not, given the little sniffle he caught at his inauguration.
Zachary Taylor – Old Rough & Ready loved whiskey.
Teddy Roosevelt – Teddy enjoyed Mint Juleps. No word on whether or not he was a Kentucky Derby fanatic, but I’m going to go ahead and pretend he was.
Woodrow Wilson – Scotch. Woody loved Scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. There it goes down into his belly… (Anchorman reference, anyone? Anyone?)