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.
- 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.1,035269Did he have great taste?
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 $15,000.980289Did he have great taste?
- Photo: Hank Walker/Contributor / The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesAbsolutely nobody should be surprised that JFK could and did drink the best stuff with the best people. Among Kennedy's favorites were the Bloody Mary, daiquiris, Champagne (Veuve Clicquot, obviously) and imported beer - specifically, Heineken. Even so, he wasn't a heavy drinker, using it mostly as a social lubricant.1,176362Did he have great taste?
- Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
Jefferson was a legendary wine merchant, having spent his time in France learning the intricacies of grape growing. He spent thousands on vast quantities of wine, back when that was a gigantic amount of money. He built two of his own vineyards, and even had dumbwaiters put in his house so as to expend minimum effort getting more bottles.As far as drinking, Jefferson is reported to have drank three glasses of wine per day, along with the usual cider and beer at meals. Incidentally, he couldn't really afford his vast expenditures on wine, and had crushing debt by the end of his life.939285Did he have great taste?