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?
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.
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.
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.
Absolutely 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.