Republican or Democrat. It doesn’t matter which political party any US President belongs to because they all have one thing in common - they enjoy certain drinks. As a way of celebrating this year’s President’s Day, let’s explore the favorite beverages of the most famous American presidents.
Some facts are based on journalist Mark Will-Weber's book, “Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking.”
1. Abraham Lincoln - Water
Abraham Lincoln is known as one of the “driest” presidents since he rarely drinks. What he liked to consume is plain water.
2. John Kennedy - Bloody Mary
JFK can be considered an experimentalist in drinking liquor as he really liked different types of cocktail mixes and beers. But probably one of his favorite drinks would be the Bloody Mary. This bright and sweet cocktail is best enjoyed any time of the day, especially when you want to feel refreshed.
Aside from the Bloody Mary, he also liked daiquiris and Heineken beer. The latter was then considered a big deal because it was even imported.
3. George Washington - Dark Porter
Washington sold whiskey near Mount Vernon, but he almost likely didn’t drink his own product. Instead of going for the hard liquor, his taste buds were more inclined into Dark Porter - a beer that is laced with molasses. The beer gives off bittersweet, roasted, malty, espresso, and chocolate flavors.
4. Theodore Roosevelt - Mint Julep
This popular US President loves mint julep that much that he actually uses the drink to entice his cabinet members to play tennis with him. Teddy would use the fresh mint on the White House’s garden to make his own refreshing cocktail. His drink also comes with a recipe that calls for the following:
- 10 to 12 fresh mint leaves “muddled” with a splash of water and a sugar cube
- 2 or 3 oz. of rye whiskey
- ¼ oz. of brandy
- A sprig or two of fresh mint as a garnish
5. Thomas Jefferson - Wine
Thomas Jefferson is a wine lover. His passion for this type of liquor was developed for almost thirty years while visiting vineyards in Burgundy and Bordeaux, France. According to Montecillo.org, he even considered that “in nothing have the habits of the palate more decisive influence than in our relish of wines.”
However, his passion turned out quite bad after being brought to the “brink of financial ruin” because of purchasing expensive and large wines.
6. Franklin Roosevelt - Assorted Cocktails
This popular US President who signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which permits the manufacturing and sale of low-alcohol and beer, clearly shows how he likes to have drinks. FDR is known for his love for any type of cocktails, gin-based martinis, whiskey-based Manhattans, and his favorite Bermuda Rum Swizzle.
The latter drink is what he preferred to enjoy while sailing. It is usually made of mixed rum, lime juice, orange juice, and a dash of Falernum.
7. Dwight Eisenhower - Scotch
Eisenhower is known to have multiple heart attacks in his life because of his constant smoking, so there were only limited drinks that his doctors allowed him. One of which that he likes to have is a glass of scotch. This type of whiskey has a woody and fiery taste.
8. John Adams - Hard Cider
John Adams is probably one of the most popular US President that takes his alcohol seriously. He was known to drink hard cider every morning. What a great way to start his day, right? He is also fond of enjoying porter beer, rum, and Madeira.
9. Jimmy Carter - White Wine
The 39th president of the United States of America is not much of a drinker. He was not that enticed in alcohol that he only consumes a small glass of white wine when there were obligatory toasts.
10. Barack Obama - Beer
Who doesn’t love a cold glass of beer? Indeed, everyone does. It’s so tasty and refreshing that even Barack Obama likes to freshen up with this beverage. The mansion even has its featured drink called the “White House Honey Ale” served for guests. The honey used to brew the beer also comes from the White House hives.
11. Ulysses Grant - Champagne
Ulysses Grant is one of the light drinkers in the palace. However, some reports said that while he was serving his post as a general, he would usually drink all day long.
Eventually, this famous US President had enough and decided to take it slow in alcohol consumption. If and when he decided to have a glass, he would go for the classic champagne. One of White House’s entertaining bills even included $1,800 for a bottle of champagne!
12. Ronald Reagan - Wine
Another wine drinker on the list, Ronald Reagan, grew his love for this liquor upon migrating to California. His exposure to the city made him experience and taste California wines and a drink called Orange Bloom Special. The cocktail is made of the following ingredients:
- 1 oz. (or slightly less in Reagan’s case) vodka
- 1 oz. of either grenadine or sweet vermouth
- 2 oz. fresh orange juice
13. Harry Truman - Bourbon
Harry Truman’s favorite drink is not the usual wine or beer that other presidents like to have. He wants to sip a stronger type of alcohol in the form of bourbon whiskey. Truman loved his bourbon that his morning routine would usually involve taking a shot of the liquor and some brisk walking.
He also fancied an Old-Fashioned drink, the type that is quite strong. If he were given a weak one, he would usually complain about it.
14. John Quincy Adams - Spanish Madeira
The sixth US President is not only a solid fan of Spanish Madeira but has a smart sense of taste with this type of alcohol. It was said that JQA conducted a taste test of 14 types of Spanish Madeira and correctly identified 11 of them.
Spanish Madeira is a fortified wine made on the Portuguese Madeira islands. The drink is made from five distinct grapes and sold as dry, medium-dry, medium-sweet, or sweet. It has various hints of caramel, walnut oil, peach, hazelnut, orange peel, and burnt sugar flavors.
15. James Madison - Champagne
Another champagne lover, James Madison’s favorite drink is a sweet and cold glass of champagne. Although he certainly likes this liquor’s taste profile, he is also clear about one thing - too much champagne is not advisable.
Madison once said that champagne “was the most delightful wine when drank in moderation, but that more than a few glasses always produced a headache the next day.”
16. James Monroe - French Red Wine
This popular US President also likes the earthy and less fruity flavor of the French red wine. He likes wine and champagne so much that he got into some controversy during his stay at the White House when 1,200 bottles of Burgundy and Champagne were charged to an account that Congress intended for furniture.
17. George H.W. Bush - Beer & Vodka Martinis
George H.W. Bush was known as the president who “drank a little bit of everything.” Clearly, any type of alcohol appeals to his taste. However, out of hundreds of choices, his clear cut pick is beer and vodka martinis.
18. Gerald Ford - Martini
Another martini drinker is the 38th US President. Gerald Ford loved the herbal and crisp noted of martini that he would usually drink a couple of glasses at lunch while he was still at the House of Representatives. However, when he became the man of the White House, his advisors suggested that he cut down on drinking alcohol.
19. Andrew Jackson - Whiskey
Something about whiskey really captures the heart of many US Presidents. And Andrew Jackson is no exemption. This popular US President has such a strong connection with this liquor that he even made and sold whiskey.
20. Lyndon Johnson - Whiskey/Scotch
Plastic cups are usually not something you would see a US President use, most especially when drinking liquor. But Lyndon Johnson did not really care about class and sophistication as long as he enjoyed his drink. LBJ loved whiskey so much that even though he was out tooling in his golf cart, he would always ask for a refill once his cup is empty.
21. Woodrow Wilson - Scotch
Like Teddy Roosevelt, who loved mint julep that much, Woodrow Wilson only had his heart on scotch. His love for the drink was so serious that he even patterned his campaign song ‘Wilson! That’s All!’ from a brand of whiskey that was popular in the 20th century.
22. George W. Bush - Diet Cola
Compared to his father, George W. Bush, aka “Dubya,” is not fond of drinking alcoholic drinks. What he prefers? A can of diet soda. He cut-ties with drinking liquor as soon as he was appointed in office.
23. Donald Trump - Diet Cola
Another non-alcoholic beverage drinker, Donald Trump, only enjoys a cold can of diet cola. He actually said on several occasions that he had already abstained from drinking liquor.
24. Bill Clinton - Snakebite
Bill Clinton favors snakebite out of all drinks. Snakebite is a type of alcohol that is made with equal parts of hard cider and lager. The result? A delicious treat of tart apple notes from the cider and malty grain taste from the lager.
25. William Howard Taft - Champagne
Another popular US President that didn’t drink much liquor is William Howard Taft. Most people thought that the 300-pound man actually drank a lot, but it’s actually the opposite.
Taft wasn’t that very enticed with alcoholic drinks, especially since he was trying to lose weight during this term in the White House. However, if there were celebrations, he would usually have a glass of champagne.
Just like any average individual, even the most popular US Presidents have their own fair share of favorite beverages that probably made their stressful day at work more rewarding.
So, which US president has the same favorite drink as you? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share this trivia with your friends.