History

This is every American President's favorite drink

No one knows more about political drinking than author Mark Will-Weber, whose book, Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking, explores the stories behind each president's favorite alcoholic beverage.


"Presidents drink for the same reasons we all drink," Will-Weber recently told Business Insider. "Sometimes because it's part of the job, sometimes it's because they're lonely or depressed — there's a whole gamut of reasons of why people drink."

For Will-Weber, knowing what the former presidents like to drink brings a "human side" to those who we "normally hold on a pedestal."

Ahead, take a look at the presidents' favorite alcoholic beverages, rounded up from Will-Weber's book and The New York Post.

Our first president, George Washington, was a whiskey drinker, as were Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, and Andrew Johnson. According to Will-Weber, Johnson was so inebriated when he arrived at the 1865 inauguration as Lincoln's vice president that he had to be pulled off the stage.

Cheers.

John Adams reportedly started every morning with a hard cider. William Henry Harrison was also a big fan.

Fermentation tanks and barrels for crafting hard cider. (Photo by Scott Bugni)

According to Will-Weber, Thomas Jefferson purchased so much wine it put him on the brink of financial ruin.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Also read: Historians ranked the top 20 US Presidents of all time

James Madison, James Monroe, John Tyler, James K. Polk, and Ulysses S. Grant were all champagne lovers. Of these, Polk was the most modest drinker. Will-Weber told us about a small scandal that happened under Monroe, when a whopping 1,200 bottles of Burgundy and Champagne from France were charged to the White House.

(Photo by Maman Voyage via Flickr)

John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, and James Buchanan enjoyed Madeira wine, which gets its flavor by being heated repeatedly.

(Photo by Luis Villa del Campo via Flickr)

According to Will-Weber, Franklin Pierce was one of the heaviest drinkers to fill the White House. He died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 64.

(Photo from Library of Congress)

On the flip side, Abraham Lincoln apparently drank the least while in office. Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Harrison, and Calvin Coolidge were also light drinkers.

(Image from Library of Congress)

Beer was the drink of choice for James Garfield and Grover Cleveland.

According to Will-Weber, the temperance movement tried to convince Chester A. Arthur to have a dry White House, but he refused.

The 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur. (Image from Library of Congress)

The McKinley's Delight was coined for President William McKinley. It was a strong drink made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry brandy, and absinthe.

(Photo by Sam Howzit via Flickr)

Related: 13 Presidents who narrowly escaped assassinations

Teddy Roosevelt used fresh mint from the White House garden to make his famous mint juleps.

Woodrow Wilson and Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoyed scotch.

(Photo via Flickr user morberg)

Although Warren G. Harding was president during Prohibition, that didn't stop him from enjoying some whiskey before playing a game of golf.

(Photo by Markus Reinhardt via Flickr)

President Herbert Hoover requested a dry martini while suffering from pneumonia in his 80s, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was known for loving cocktails, especially gin-based martinis.

Although, I doubt his martinis ever looked like this...

One of Will-Weber's personal favorite presidential drinking stories is about Harry S. Truman, who would down a shot of bourbon every morning before starting his day.

(Photo by Arkadiusz Benedykt via Flickr)

According to Will-Weber, President John F. Kennedy drank various cocktails, such as daiquiris, but his favorite was the bloody mary.

(Photo by William Clifford)

A Texas native, President Lyndon B. Johnson enjoyed sipping a cold Texas-brewed Pearl beer while driving around his ranch.

(Photo from Pearl Beer via Facebook)

Will-Weber said President Richard Nixon enjoyed expensive bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild — but he'd often serve cheaper wine to his guests.

While serving in the House of Representatives, Gerald Ford would drink martinis at lunch. When he became president, his staff suggested he stop that habit.

(Photo by Ken30684 via Flickr)

More: This is how US Presidents almost got to choose their own entrance music

President Jimmy Carter didn't drink much — so when he met with Soviet leaders, instead of taking a shot of vodka, he'd arrange for a small glass of white wine.

(Photo by Didriks via Flickr)

President Ronald Reagan enjoyed Orange Blossom Specials, made with orange juice, vodka, and sweet vermouth.

(Photo by Cesar I. via Yelp)

George H.W. Bush dabbled in a bit of everything, from beer to vodka. However, his son George W. Bush didn't drink while in office.

43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush

When he was a student, Bill Clinton regularly made snakebites: hard cider mixed with beer.

(Photo by Liza P. via Yelp)

President Barack Obama is a big fan of beer. Under his administration, the White House has brewed its own honey ale, using honey from hives on the grounds.

I just like to imagine that he plays Beer Pong... (Image via Flickr)

Although President Donald Trump unsuccessfully launched his own brand of vodka — and his family operates Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia — the man himself doesn't drink.

President Donald Trump is not a fan of the sauce.