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Favorite Drinks Of Presidents, Ranked

Do you have presidential taste in drinks?

By Skunk UzekiPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

If there's one thing that the White House knows how to do, it's enjoy a great meal. And, what's a great meal without an equally amazing drink to follow? Ever since George Washington was elected president, our nation's leaders always seemed to enjoy a good drink - even when Prohibition was a thing.

Did you ever wonder what our nation's leaders enjoyed drinking? Moreover, did you ever wonder if you'd actually want to drink like a president? A New York Post article outlined every president's favorite drink and told some of the craziest booze-related issues to rock the White House.

According to historical records, these are the most common White House drink choices among presidents... and a little bit of information about how popular each drink really was among our nation's leaders.

Wine: The Most Popular Presidential Drink, Period.

Photo by Roberta Sorge

Believe it or not, a very large percentage of America's Founding Fathers were totally obsessed with wine. Wine also had a big disadvantage of being particularly expensive back in the early days of American history - and as such, was primarily reserved for the upper class.

Some of the presidents that were noted oenophiles included James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Millard Fillmore, James K. Polk, John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, William Howard Taft, and Richard Nixon.

As a result of the sheer number of wine lovers in the White House, it's not surprising that there have been a number of major wine-related scandals relating to presidents.

Thomas Jefferson was such a wine lover that his habit of drinking French wines almost caused him to go into full financial ruin. His buddy, James Monroe, actually caused an uproar after 1,200 bottles of French wine were purchased using a White House account meant for furniture.

Wine scandals weren't totally relegated to the 18th century, either. Richard Nixon caused an uproar when he gave foreign delegates cheap wine covered by a towel while he helped himself to some wine worth several hundred dollars.

There was also plenty of wine lore involving presidents as well. John Quincy Adams, a Founding Father and president, was legendary for being able to differentiate between 11 different types of Madeira. Millard Fillmore, on the other hand, was a total lightweight and was known for getting wasted off of a single glass of champagne.

Herbert Hoover might have been the most unfortunate president out there in terms of alcoholic tales. When Prohibition became law, his wife poured his massive wine collection down a drain - much to his dismay!

Specific Presidential Favorites: Madeira, champagne, and sherry.


Photo by Adam Jamie

This really shouldn't be too surprising, considering that George Washington himself was a major whiskey producer in his time. Moreover, many presidents also had done tours as members of the army - and that often meant that they developed a taste for whiskey as either a quick way to unwind or a remedy for almost any ailment they could get in the trenches.

Of all whiskey drinkers, Andrew Jackson may be the most well known. The Hero of New Orleans was one of the biggest whiskey producers in America at the time of his presidency, and he regularly would offer guests at White House dinners as much whiskey as they could drink. Needless to say, he, too, loved the stuff.

Jackson was by no means alone in his love of whiskey. Martin Van Buren, the president after him, drank so much that he was known as "Blue Whiskey Van" in the White House. Zachary Taylor also was known for having developed a taste for good whiskey when he fought in the Mexican War.

Later on, Woodrow Wilson had no qualms about admitting his love of whiskey, either. In fact, his presidential campaign son was actually derived from a popular whiskey brand of the time - "Wilson, that's all!"

Some presidents were just fans of whiskey cocktails, rather than the straight stuff. William McKinley also was a fan of whiskey, but mostly in the cocktail that was created under his namesake. Teddy Roosevelt had a soft spot for Mint Juleps made with rye. Coolidge also had a favorite whiskey-based drink named after him, too.

That being said, whiskey has also brought its fair share of scandal to the presidential house. Warren G. Harding, for example, shocked the nation when it was found out that he stashed whiskey in his golf bag during outings. Lyndon B. Johnson shocked White House staff members when they found out that he loved to drink whiskey out of plastic cups while zooming around in a car at high speeds at his ranch.

However, the worst offender would have to belong to president Andrew Johnson. Lincoln was appalled to see that Johnson had come to his vice presidential inauguration drunk to the point that he wasn't actually able to pronounce anything correctly. Word had it that Johnson had tried to cure his toothache using whiskey shots!

Specific Presidential Favorites: Whiskey on the rocks, whiskey neat, bourbon shots, Scotch shots, McKinley's Delight, Mint Juleps, Coolidge Coolers

Beer And Hard Ciders

Photo by Christian Gertenbach

Beer is the third most popular presidential drink out there, and much like wine and whiskey, it's got a history dating all the way back to the American Revolution. You see, George Washington may have been a whiskey producer, but his favorite drink wasn't whiskey; it was a dark porter that was produced in Philadelphia.

His good friend, John Adams, had similar taste in booze; he started every day with a hard cider and would typically top off the day with porter beer. Later on, William Henry Harrison went on record for saying that Ol' Tippecanoe himself made his travels easier with bottles of hard cider by his side.

James Garfield was known for almost exclusively drinking beer, and he wasn't the only one. Several other presidents, including Obama, had become famous for their love of the fizzy stuff.

Later president Grover Cleveland loved his beer so much that he and a fellow politician of the time both ended up promising to limit themselves to four beers a day. Unfortunately, they found the promise too hard to keep up, so they both switched to much larger beer steins.

The biggest splash that ever hit the White House associated with beer would have to be the revelation of the White House beer recipe. It was released during Barack Obama's presidency and was done so by popular demand.

Dark Porter, White House Beer, hard ciders, Snakebite beer cocktails.

Honorable mentions...

There were a couple of presidents who happened to enjoy martinis, daiquiris, and rum-spiked punch, but the truth is that most of our presidents seem to like to stick to the old school stuff. So, do you have presidential taste?

alcoholbeerhistoryfact or fiction

About the Creator

Skunk Uzeki

Skunk Uzeki is an androgynous pothead and a hard partier. When they aren't drinking and causing trouble, they're writing articles about the fun times they have.

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