It’s been nearly a week since the election, and we’re all finally coming to grips with it: We elected a president who doesn’t drink.
In 2014, 71% of Americans said they’d had a drink in the past year, and yet we chose a teetotaler-in-chief. Something doesn’t add up. Maybe the system is rigged after all.
But instead of crying in our beer, let’s celebrate some of America’s greatest presidential imbibers:
- George Washington loved beer and opened a successful whiskey distillery at his plantation, Mount Vernon.
- John Adams was into breakfast beers, rum and especially his wife’s hard cider (that’s not a euphemism).
- Martin Van Buren drank so much whiskey his nickname was “Blue Whiskey Van.” He was admired for his tolerance to booze.
- James Buchanan was a serious drinker. According to one congressman, “The Madeira and sherry he has consumed would fill more than one cellar and the rye whiskey that he has ‘punished’ would make [a local distillers]’s heart glad.” Despite this, he apparently never got hungover.
- Chester Arthur, known as “Elegant Arthur,” led the bachelor lifestyle as president. When pressured to ban liquor from the White House, he said, “I may be the president of the United States, but what I do with my private life is my own damned business!”
- Teddy Roosevelt grew his own mint in the White House garden for mint juleps. Combine this fact with his mustache, and it’s fair to say Teddy was a huge hipster.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was a cocktail man: martinis, Manhattans, Bermuda Rum Swizzles. That, and he helped to end Prohibition.
- Harry Truman liked a shot of Old Grand-Dad Whiskey first thing in the morning to “get the motor running.” Respect.
- Lyndon B. Johnson drank Scotch-and-sodas throughout the workday and would have Secret Service agents freshen his drink. Basically the White House in the 1960s was just like “Man Men.”
- Barack Obama started a brewing operation in the White House, for which the American Homebrewers Association made him a lifetime member. So now we know how he’s going to keep busy.