History Podcasts

#15: Every President's Go-to Drink, From Washington's Whisky to Obama's Homebrew-Mark Will-Weber

#15: Every President's Go-to Drink, From Washington's Whisky to Obama's Homebrew-Mark Will-Weber

There are books about presidents. There are books about cocktails. Then there are books that create and attribute a cocktail to each of the 45 U.S. presidents. Journalist and editor Mark Will-Weber has written such a book. He actually written three: Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking; Drinking with the Democrats; and Drinking with the Republicans

What began as a fun exploration into Warren G. Harding's flask that he hid in his golf bag during the Prohibition years turned into a wide-ranging survey of America's love-hate relationship with alcohol… and how it affected each of its presidents.

Some like George W. Bush and Donald Trump were complete tee-totalers. Others like Obama and Clinton drank in moderation. Still others imbibed so much that they gave inaugural addresses completely hammered or even went on drunk driving cruises with terrified Secret Service agents in tow.

But most of all, Mark gets into America's complicated relationship with alcohol and how it transformed from the libertine years of the Founding Fathers to the alcoholic years of the Civil War to the stern years of Temperance. And he even offers suggestions for how Republicans and Democrats can use drink to get along in these divided times.

In this episode we go over:

  • Favorite libations of each president

  • Richard Nixon's love of drunk dialing

  • Mark's favorite cocktail: McKinley's Delight (whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur and absinthe)

RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE

Recipe for McKinley's Delight

How Gary Hart's Downfall Forever Changed American Politics

George Washington's Tavern Porter from Yard's Brewing Company

MARK'S BOOKS

Mint Juleps With Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking

Drinking with the Republicans: The Politically Incorrect History of Conservative Concoctions

Drinking with the Democrats: The Party Animal's History of Liberal Libations

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Will-Weber, a seasoned journalist and magazine editor, is the author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The complete History of Presidential Drinking, The Quotable Runner, and The Running Trivia Book. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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