18 Drinks of the Union: Favorite Presidential Beverages

RealClear Contributor


The boozing habits of every United States President is a fascinating subject, from Bill Clinton to George Bush to our founding father George Washington.

So much so that journalist Mark Will-Weber decided to write an entire book on the idea. Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking, has debuted just in time for the holidays.

Which President shares your favorite drink? Find out in the next pages!  

1. George Washington

The first President liked to imbibe in a he loved dark porter (laced with sweet molasses) that was made in Philadelphia.

2. Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson loved his wine!

His massive wine purchases almost brought him to financial ruin.

3. James Madison

Champagne was the favorite among the 4th President's beverage choices.

He was rumored to have 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.”

4. James Monroe

James Monroe was fond of burgundy and champagne from France. 

5. Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe was one of the few Presidents who rarely, if ever, drank alcohol!

6. FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd President, was a booze hound. He loved his cocktails, specifically gin martinis and Bermuda Rum Swizzles.

7. Harry Truman

Harry Truman was a bourbon man. He loved old fashioned Manhattans, as well as a straight shot of bourbon in the morning!

8. Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant could not handle his booze. Apparently he didn't drink much, but when he did, he got drunk quickly!

9. Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy liked a classic mint julep.

He even used them to entice his cabinet to come play tennis with him at the White House. Nice!

10. JFK

Oh, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, what did he NOT love to drink?

Most were perennial trendy drinks like daiquiris, Bloody Marys, and Heineken beer, which was imported at the time.

11. Jimmy Carter

Southern gentleman Jimmy Carter was another leader who rarely drank booze. 

To avoid drinking vodka with Soviet leaders, Carter arranged have a small white wine for the obligatory toasts.

12. Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan liked California wines and reportedly, "an occasional Orange Blossom Special cocktail made with vodka."

13. Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson was a terrible alcohol-role model, who loved Scotch whiskey.  He enjoyed driving around his Texas ranch while drinking it out of a plastic cup. 

Don't drink and drive, kids!

14. Richard Nixon

Nixon would drink expensive bottles of wine that cost hundreds of dollars, while at the same time instructing his staff to serve mediocre red wine to his guests. Tricky!

15. George W. Bush

George W. "Dubbya" Bush supposedly quit drinking booze years before he became president.

Hmmm.... What is in that glass then?

16. Bill Clinton

Rhodes and Oxford scholar Bill Clinton liked a lil drink calledthe Snakebite, which contains hard cider and lager beer.

17. John Adams

The 2nd US President John Adams loved alcohol, starting almost every morning with a hard cider.  

He would then proceed to porter beer, rum, and tons of Madeira.

18. Barack Obama

Our current Commander in Chief likes beer. The Executive Mansion also features White House Honey Ale (with honey from the White House hives) for special guests.

View as one page


Most Viral This Week

Scroll Top

Like us on facebook to get more stuff like this in your news feed!


I already like RealClear, don't show this again

Share on Facebook