10 Fun Facts About Presidents and Alcohol

Presidents love to drink, and that's why we love President's Day.

Gary Dudakby Gary Dudak

When it comes to holidays that are considered “manly,” the first that come to mind are probably Father’s Day and the Fourth of July. But we think it’s time President’s Day gets in the mix, so we’ve compiled ten facts about former leaders of our independent country and alcohol. Why? Because what’s more manly than drinking and being the president of the USA? And also, just because a lot of our past presidents were incredible drinkers and we thought we should share. Read on for the top ten, then scroll to the bottom for some recipes to try out for yourselves on the manliest of holidays.

No. 10 – John Adams started drinking in his early teens, and by the time he got into Harvard at age 15, he was regularly drinking beer for breakfast.

No. 9 – Remember that scene in “Frost/Nixon” where Nixon drunk dials Frost the night before the final interview in an attempt to intimidate him? Well, as awesome as that was, it never actually happened. But, director Ron Howard defended the scene saying that “it was known that Richard Nixon, during…the Watergate scandal, had occasionally made midnight phone calls that he couldn’t very well recall the following day.”

No. 8 – Teddy Roosevelt was known for speaking softly and carrying a big stick, but he was not known as a big drinker. It is said that he occasionally enjoyed a mint julep before bed, but that’s about it. When a small-town newspaperman called Teddy a drunk, the president sued him, and won!

No. 7 – Jimmy Carter was a teetotaler, and is the only president who is known for having all of the liquor removed from the White House. Buzz kill!

No. 6 – When the Democratic party decided not to renominate Franklin Pierce after his first term, his response gave us words to live by still today when something goes wrong: “There’s nothing left…but to get drunk.”

No. 5 – Chester A. Arthur gained more than 40 pounds in office, most of which was attributed to constant drinking and having friends over to drink.

No. 4 – Thomas Jefferson LOVED wine, specifically Chianti, Burgundy and Bordeaux. He loved it so much he tried for years to make his own on his estate in Virginia, but was never able to make it happen.

No. 3 – FDR was a martini man for most of his adult life, but when doctors ordered him to gain some weight because of health issues, he did it by chugging eggnog.

No. 2 – Martin Van Buren’s reputation as an alcoholic may have cost him his bid for reelection, but it also led to him earning the most awesome booze-inspired presidential nickname, “Blue Whiskey Van.”

No. 1 – Abraham Lincoln has a well-known bourbon named in his honor. That’s right, folks, “Honest Abe” grew up in Kentucky, and the name of his boyhood farm was Knob Creek Farm. It’s still a major tourist spot in Kentucky, but because he’s known for his Springfield, Illinois roots (where his tomb and presidential library are), it’s not well known that Knob Creek Bourbon was named to honor him and his Kentucky roots.

Bonus Fun Fact – By now we all know that Mitt Romney did not win the most recent presidential election. Perhaps this quote can help us all understand why: “I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager,” Romney said last November, “and never tried it again.”

Now for Some Manly President’s Day Cocktail Recipes
the macallan 10
The Perfect 10

Ingredients:
2 oz. The Macallan 10
Ginger beer, to taste

Preparation:
1. Place ice ball in rocks glass
2. Add The Macallan 10
3. Top off with ginger beer (we recommend Reed’s)

The Muddled Creek

Ingredients:
2 parts Knob Creek Bourbon
Ginger ale, to taste
Splash of triple sec
Muddled orange slice

Preparation:
1. In a rock glass, muddle an orange slice
2. Fill rocks glass with ice
3. Add Knob Creek® Bourbon and triple sec
4. Add just a splash of ginger ale to top off

The Bada Bing

Ingredients:
2 parts Dalmore 12 Year Old Highland Malt Whisky
1 part Drambuie Liquer
1 splash DeKuyper Amaretto

Preparation:
1. Tightly pack a rocks glass with ice
2. Pour the Dalmore first, then the Drambuie.
3. Top off with the Amaretto, and garnish with lemon zest.