U.S. Presidents & the Booze They Drank, Ranked

List Rules
Vote up the presidents who had the best taste in alcohol

The history of presidential drinking starts with George Washington, who actually had the largest whiskey distillery in America at the time. Since then, the US has had presidents who drank bottles of wine, gallons of beer, every manner of whiskey - and sometimes, nothing at all. Some presidents drank staggering amounts, while others barely took a sip in office.

Presidential cocktails have included Washington's insanely strong "Fish House Punch," JFK's daiquiris, and Lyndon Johnson's bottomless cup of Cutty Sark and soda. American presidents have enjoyed the best wines in the world and bathtub gin, Chinese grain alcohol and homemade beer, bourbon for breakfast and lonely belts of scotch.

Here is your chance to rank every American president by their taste in alcohol. Did they like the good stuff, or were they teetotalling scolds - or even worse, raging alcoholics?


  • Harry S. Truman
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    1,790 VOTES

    Truman would begin most days in the White House with a health regimen that included a walk, massage, and, of course, a swig of bourbon - usually either Old Granddad or Wild Turkey. But Truman wasn't a drunk - far from it. His doctor actually recommended a small amount of bourbon to relax and limber the president up. It was for health!

    While bourbon was Truman's drink of choice, he also was known to have enjoyed the occasional Moscow Mule, scotch, and Old Fashioned - which he would send back if it wasn't strong enough. Despite the reputation of running a booze-soaked White House, Truman didn't drink all that much - he just enjoyed what he drank.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Photo: Elias Goldensky / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Roosevelt won the hearts of booze-loving Americans everywhere, first when he signed a bill legalizing the sale of 3.2% alcohol "near beer," then when he signed the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition. Roosevelt was a cocktail lover who mixed and liberally consumed legendary martinis. He would invite Washington luminaries to happy hours he called "children's hour" to throw down cocktails and gossip.

    He also enjoyed whiskey-based Manhattans, and would sip Bermuda Rum Swizzles while sailing. And beer was his tipple of choice at late night poker games.
  • James Madison
    Photo: John Vanderlyn / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,270 VOTES
    Madison is known to have drank a pint of whiskey per day, which by the standards of the time, wasn't much. He also enjoyed Champagne in moderate amounts. His wife Dolley threw weekly parties at the White House that could be attended by anyone the Madisons had been introduced to.
  • Chester A. Arthur
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    1,242 VOTES
    A widower when he reached the White House, Arthur spent lavishly on feasts, clothes and booze. He's known to have enjoyed whiskey and Madeira, and when pressed by a Women's Christian Temperance Union member to ban alcohol in the White House, he thundered at her to mind her own business.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Photo: White House / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    The stress of his military career led to Eisenhower to have a couple of heart attacks. So his doctor put him on a strict one-drink-per-day limit. Ike usually picked scotch - and was known to have second, depending on the circumstances. Eisenhower also hosted informal drinking sessions in his tent while deployed stateside, and brewed bathtub gin for his men after Prohibition was passed.
  • George Washington
    Photo: patrickhashley / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    1,070 VOTES

    At the time of his death, Washington had the largest whiskey distillery in America at his Mount Vernon estate. However, Washington wasn't much of a drinker by the standards of the time, and preferred porter laced with molasses to go with hearty amounts of wine. He also was fond of "Fish House Punch," an insanely strong rum concoction. Staggeringly, this was considered light drinking in the 1770s.

    The amount of alcohol served at the farewell party that Washington's troops threw him at the City Tavern in Philadelphia has become the stuff of legend. According to one document, over 120 bottles of wine, dozens of beers, and seven "large bowls of spiked punch" were consumed. Adjusted for inflation, the tab came to a staggering $15,000.