Teetotalers, Connoisseurs, and Alcoholics: Drinking Habits of the U.S. Presidents
In general, American Presidents have always enjoyed great cocktails just like their constituents. Aside from the honorable title and immense responsibilities, most public leaders would gladly welcome a nightcap (or two). We’re sure sipping cocktails or brews — as 21st President Arthur would prefer — is a very common and much-needed practice amongst the nation’s leaders, both past and present. In fact, our very first president, George Washington, preferred fortified wines like Madeira and Port. He even owned a commercial distillery, which still operates today on his estate, Mt. Vernon, in Virginia.
We know that alcohol is a large part of American culture and always has been — even in Prohibition Era — yet, there were a few teetotalers, including presidents Lincoln and Hayes ( the latter when Mrs. Hayes wife was around, at least). Traveling in very exclusive social circles, American Chiefs of State took a few swigs of high-end elixirs such as Champagne (Presidents John Tyler and Ulysses S. Grant’s choice) and Heineken, which was considered a chic import during John F. Kennedy’s time in office. Whether a dry martini, beer, or hard cider was top choice, our country’s leaders have almost all had a preferred tipple.
Read on to learn more about some of our nation’s presidents and their habits and preferences.