Another day, another story about big Frenchmen with large appetites for booze. Yesterday we reported that Gerard Depardieu drinks 14 bottles of wine a day. Today comes news that wrestling legend Andre the Giant used to concoct his own special brew, dubbed “The American,” consisting of 40 ounces of various liquors poured into a single pitcher, and he would drink several of these in a single sitting. Describing the taste, his Princess Bride co-star Cary Elwes said “I’ve never tasted airplane fuel, but I imagine it’s very close to what that must taste like. It’s very potent indeed, and I remember coughing a lot. But to him, it was like chugging water.” Elwes and Mandy Patinkin partied quite a bit with him, and at the end of the shoot, Andre reportedly had a $40,000 bar tab at his hotel. Elwes revealed that while Andre drank a lot, it wasn’t because he was an alcoholic. “Andre didn’t drink for the sake of drinking—Andre was in a lot of pain, God bless him. His back was injured from carrying all that weight around, and from having other wrestlers breaking chairs over his back. He was due to have an operation right after the shoot, and his doctor didn’t know what kind of pain medication to give him because of his size, so the only way that he could deal with the pain was to drink alcohol. And it didn’t affect him at all. He didn’t flub a line or miss a day. The guy could handle his liquor.”
Elwes is by no means the first person to relate a crazy drinking tale about Andre the Giant. There are numerous stories of his drinking feats, including drinking 119 beers in one sitting and a case of wine on a four-hour bus ride (take note, Monsieur Depardieu). It has yet to be established, however if Andre the Giant ever engaged Samuel Beckett in a drinking contest. On their daily journeys together, the boy who would become a wrestling legend and the greatest twentieth-century playwright mostly discussed cricket.