Presidential potables: US presidents’ favorite drinks
Whiskey in the White House? Cocktails at Camp David? Alcohol in Air Force One? Learn what drinks were popular with which presidents.
February 11, 2021
Whether it’s a founding father, a Democrat or Republican - a lot of presidents had one thing in common - they loved a good drink. Being that we are an alcohol delivery company, we couldn’t pass up a moment to talk about some of the most popular drinks among commanders in chief. So, in celebration of President’s Day, we decided to pull together a non-exhaustive list of the favorite beer, wine, liquors and cocktails of our presidents.
Whiskey clocks in as the most beloved drink among presidents. There’s a lot of whiskeys out there though. If you’re curious about them, check out this blog. For now, if we didn’t say a specific type of whiskey like bourbon or scotch, that probably means we don’t know what exact kind they drank, but we did our dang best to find out. Nevertheless, a whole lot of commanders in chief loved whiskey. It was so beloved that Woodrow Wilson’s campaign slogan actually came from a popular whiskey brand, Andrew Johnson liked pretty much any kind of whiskey and Harry Truman was a big fan of bourbon. Heck, George Washington even made and sold his own, though rumor has it that he was a bigger fan of dark beers like porters.
Andrew Jackson: American whiskey Zachary Taylor: American whiskey Andrew Johnson: American whiskey Martin Van Buren: American whiskey Warren G. Harding: American whiskey Dwight D. Eisenhower: scotch whiskey Woodrow Wilson: scotch whiskey Franklin Roosevelt: scotch whiskey Harry Truman: bourbon whiskey Willian McKinley: rye whiskey Linden B. Johnson: scotch whiskey
Just saying “cocktails” is a little vague, we know, but we promise, it gets more specific. At least 8 (so like 14%,) of presidents had a favorite drink that was a cocktail. Whether it be Martinis, Mint Juleps or a Bloody Mary.
Martinis might just be our most presidential cocktail, as the favorite of presidents like Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. Gerald Ford was known to have them as his first drink of the day. It was Nixon’s last drink before stepping down as president. Whether it’s dry or with a twist, gin or vodka, this drink is one for the books. If you’re feeling a bit presidential yourself, learn how to order a martini like a boss.
The Mint Julep was the favorite cocktail of Teddy Roosevelt. Rumor has it that he would use mint grown from the White House garden for them, and would use Mint Juleps to entice cabinet members to come play tennis with him at the White House. If you’re interested in making your own mint julep, we’ve got some suggestions.
Fact: Bloody Marys are great because they’re basically a meal and a cocktail. What other time do you have an excuse to put bacon with vodka and call it a cocktail? Turns out JFK also had an affinity for Bloody Marys. If you’re looking for a great Bloody Mary recipe, we’ve got you.
Ronald Reagan is known for his love of wine, but when living in Hollywood, he also developed a taste for an Orange Blossom.
Champagne was also a popular favorite among Presidents past. They wrote about it in letters (John Tyler,) spent a whole bunch on it for entertainment (Ulysses S. Grant) and even wrote letters about it. Heck, James Madison is even quoted saying that champagne, “was the most delightful wine,” though urged it needed to be drank sparingly because of the headache the next day when you have a glass too many.
James Madison: Champagne (in moderation) Ulysses S Grant: Champagne James Monroe: Champagne (also loved red wine) John Tyler: Champagne William Howard Taft: Champagne (celebratory events mostly)
#4 Beer / hard cider
Plenty of presidents throughout history imbibed their favorite beers and ciders. Hard cider is notably the favorite of John Adams. George Washington was known to love porter with a bit of molasses. There’s also about a zillion photos on the internet of Obama holding a cold beer. While he was in office, the White House even featured a “White House Honey Ale” on tap for special guests.
William Henry Harrison: hard cider Barack Obama: beer John Adams: hard cider Bill Clinton: snake bite (one part cider and one part lager) James Garrfield: beer George Washington: porter with molasses Chester A. Arthur: ale Grover Cleveland: beer George H.W. Bush: beer
Last but certainly not least, we get to wine. Presidents throughout American history have loved a good bottle of wine, whether it be red or white. They also loved to spend a bit too much money to collect it. Both James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson are known to have brought themselves into some financial trouble due to their love of expensive wines. Herbert Hoover, a lover of martinis, even had a rather huge wine collection pre-prohibition.
Thomas Jefferson: Madeira wine Jame Buchanan: sherry John Quincy Adams: Madeira wine Millard Fillmore: Madeira wine Jimmy Carter: white wine James K Polk: wine, champagne and brandy Calvin Coolidge: tokay wine (a sweet white wine from Hungary)