In honor of President’s Day, Blowfish for Hangover’s would like to take a moment to tip our cap to a special breed of Commander-in-Chief. These men, patriots all, exhibited a unique strength you’re not going to read about in your fancy “history books,” “Wikipedia pages” or “credible news sources.” No, this is history Blowfish-style. These are the Hardest Drinking American Presidents:
John Adams: President 1789-1797
Patriot. Founding father. Raging booze bag. While history focuses on Adams’ important role in the creation of our country, we’re most impressed with the fact he began drinking beer for breakfast at the age of fifteen (and smoking at the age of eight). In letters to his wife Abigail, Adams regularly references the quality and potency of her homemade beer and cider—earning her a spot as coolest first lady ever. Adams gets bonus points for being cousin to famous brewer Samuel Adams.
Andrew Jackson: President 1829-1837
Before becoming the 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson killed a guy in a duel, probably the 1800’s equivalent of being in drunken brawl on WorldStar. One of Jackson’s early associates called him a “roaring, rollicking, game-cocking, horse-racing, card-playing, mischievous fellow” and he brought that saucy ‘tude with him into the Oval Office. Apparently his inauguration party at the White House was so out of control his staff had to lure revelers outside with buckets of booze to finally make them get home.
James Buchanan: President 1857-1861
Labeled the “Bachelor President”, handsome devil James Buchanan lived a free-wheeling, hard-partying single life while in office. Hell, he even looks lit in his Presidential portrait. Legend has it after church on Sundays, Buchanan would stop at a local distillery and buy a 10-gallon jug of whiskey to, you know, take the edge off. On work days, he’d reel it back to three bottles a day. While colleagues and the press marveled at his drinking prowess, his body paid the price. During his presidency he contracted gout and dysentery twice. That’s pretty baller, as the kids say.
Martin Van Buren: President 1837-1841
Martin Van Buren’s drinking habits were as legendary as his sideburns. Apparently Marty Lambchops could drink hard for days on end without showing any signs of drunkenness. And that’s great for presidential drinking retrospectives, but not so great for re-elections. In the presidential race of 1840, William Henry Harrison’s campaign labeled Van Buren a raging alcoholic, which of course he was. Van Buren lost the election and sought refuge at a spa in France, which doesn’t really sound like losing, does it?
Franklin Roosevelt: President 1933-1945
You end prohibition, you get on the list. Simple as that. And FDR’s pro-booze policies extended into his personal life as well. In the White House, he’d host nightly cocktail parties where his inner circle would get sauced and gossip about politics. He also once described his strategy for Russian diplomacy as “four martinis and let’s have an agreement.” Our kinda guy.
George W. Bush: President 2000-2008
While a teetotaler in office, George W. Bush’s pre-Oval Office exploits without question earn him a spot on the list. At Yale he was a full-on frat bro, adept at dolling out pledge names and brewskis. Prior to his political aspirations, the younger Bush was arrested three times for infractions ranging from disorderly conduct at a football game (funny) to DUI (not funny). Forty-two’s partying ways extended until he was exactly forty, when a meeting with Reverend Billy Graham resulted in a religious awaking and a permanent hanging up of the flask. (Ironic, because a meeting with Billy Graham would force most people to start drinking). And while he remains booze-free, many Americans agree that he seems like a fun guy to have a beer with. That’s counts for something in our book.