America was founded by a gaggle of freethinking statesmen who were just as pissed at Mother England as they were piss drunk. In the 18th century, clean drinking water wasn’t always at the ready, so what’s a political rabble-rouser to do to hydrate and unwind from the stress of putting together a more perfect union? If getting seriosly toasted was your answer, then you are a true patriot.
To get acquainted with the O.G. spirits of the Nation’s Capital, join us to explore the alcoholic predilections of the Founding Fathers:
Our first Commander in Chief is beloved because he could never tell a lie, and that’s probably because he was frequently intoxicated. Not only did he spend 7% of his White House budget on alcohol, but in his later years, George Washington was the largest distiller of whiskey in America. Personally, he was known to enjoy Madeira, a rich, fortified red wine made in the Portuguese island of the same name.
The Founding Father who taught us not to fly kites in a thunderstorm was also a distiller, a brewer, and the author of The Drinker’s Dictionary, which was complete with over 200 euphemisms for getting hammered, like “Nimptopsical,” “His head is full of bees,” and “Been too free with Sir John Strawberry.”
In addition to being a major cider swiller, a political philosopher, and second cousin of John Adams, Samuel Adams was also a maltster. Several generations of Adams’ were also maltsters, producing the malt necessary for brewing beer, which is one reason the Boston Brewing Company named their signature lager after him in 1984.
Good ‘ol TJ was a lot of things: third President of the United States, chief author of the Declaration of Independence, slave owner, trial lawyer, and wino. He was apparently the first to stock the White House with wine, and was known to sip on everything from port and sherries to light whites and rich Bordeaux. He was so hooked on the stuff that he even spent time daydreaming about finding the perfect mouthfeel for his palate: “I should much prefer a wine which should be sweet and astringent, but I know of none,” he wrote dejectedly to a friend in 1819. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to find one.