There is a complete history of Presidential Drinking, thank heavens, just in time for the holidays. You no longer have to crawl through unreliable Internet rumor mills to decide if your latest drinking escapade was on a par with Nixon‘s or Andrew Jackson’s–it’s all here in Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking by Mark Will-Weber. He parties with the presidents so you don’t have to!
Speaking of Jackson, after his inauguration there were so many supporters in the actual White House that the president had people bait the outside with booze to get them to leave. (Follow the punchbowl, an early Deep Throat was heard to say.) Booze has long been a way to curry favor, but did you know that Andrew Carnegie used to send barrels of Dewar’s to both the McKinley and Harrison White Houses? Oh, you may have heard this before but Nixon was pretty much hammered every night as he railed his paranoid visions into the tapes that were his ultimate undoing. Nixon was like the first drunk texter. And there’s this: it’s a safe bet there is no United States of America without the aid of beer. The founding fathers almost never had a meeting without it. Mark Will-Weber is really a lot of fun on his subject, sharp, knowledgeable and a fine drinking (or even abstaining) companion. It’s just fun to think of some of the presidents trying to say his last name at the end of the night.