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

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Stroll through our country’s memorable moments—from George Washington at Mount Vernon to the days of Prohibition, from impeachment hearings to nuclear weapons negotiations—and discover the role that alcohol played in all of them with Mark Will-Weber’s Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. As America transformed from fledgling Stroll through our country’s memorable moments—from George Washington at Mount Vernon to the days of Prohibition, from impeachment hearings to nuclear weapons negotiations—and discover the role that alcohol played in all of them with Mark Will-Weber’s Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. As America transformed from fledgling nation to world power, one element remained constant: alcohol. The eighteenth century saw the Father of His Country distilling whiskey in his backyard. The nineteenth century witnessed the lavish expenses on wine by the Sage of Monticello, Honest Abe’s inclination toward temperance, and the slurred speech of the first president to be impeached. Fast forward to the twentieth century and acquaint yourself with Woodrow Wilson’s namesake whisky, FDR’s affinity for rum swizzles, and Ike's bathtub gin. What concoctions can be found in the White House today? Visit the first lady’s beehives to find out! In Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, you’ll learn: • Which Founding Fathers had distilleries in their backyards • The teetotalers versus the car-totalers • Whose expensive tastes in vintages led to bankruptcy • Which commanders in chief preferred whiskey to whisky • The 4 C’s: Cointreau, claret, Campari, and cocktails • The first ladies who heralded the “hair of the dog” and those who vehemently opposed it • The preferred stemware: snifter or stein? • Which presidents and staff members abstained, imbibed, or overindulged during Prohibition • Recipes through the ages: favorites including the Bermuda Rum Swizzle, Missouri Mule, and Obama’s White House Honey Ale So grab a cocktail and turn the pages of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt for a unique and entertaining look into the liquor cabinets and the beer refrigerators of the White House. Cheers!


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Stroll through our country’s memorable moments—from George Washington at Mount Vernon to the days of Prohibition, from impeachment hearings to nuclear weapons negotiations—and discover the role that alcohol played in all of them with Mark Will-Weber’s Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. As America transformed from fledgling Stroll through our country’s memorable moments—from George Washington at Mount Vernon to the days of Prohibition, from impeachment hearings to nuclear weapons negotiations—and discover the role that alcohol played in all of them with Mark Will-Weber’s Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. As America transformed from fledgling nation to world power, one element remained constant: alcohol. The eighteenth century saw the Father of His Country distilling whiskey in his backyard. The nineteenth century witnessed the lavish expenses on wine by the Sage of Monticello, Honest Abe’s inclination toward temperance, and the slurred speech of the first president to be impeached. Fast forward to the twentieth century and acquaint yourself with Woodrow Wilson’s namesake whisky, FDR’s affinity for rum swizzles, and Ike's bathtub gin. What concoctions can be found in the White House today? Visit the first lady’s beehives to find out! In Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, you’ll learn: • Which Founding Fathers had distilleries in their backyards • The teetotalers versus the car-totalers • Whose expensive tastes in vintages led to bankruptcy • Which commanders in chief preferred whiskey to whisky • The 4 C’s: Cointreau, claret, Campari, and cocktails • The first ladies who heralded the “hair of the dog” and those who vehemently opposed it • The preferred stemware: snifter or stein? • Which presidents and staff members abstained, imbibed, or overindulged during Prohibition • Recipes through the ages: favorites including the Bermuda Rum Swizzle, Missouri Mule, and Obama’s White House Honey Ale So grab a cocktail and turn the pages of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt for a unique and entertaining look into the liquor cabinets and the beer refrigerators of the White House. Cheers!

30 review for Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    A wonderful book, full of enlightening and at times amazing anecdotes about our Commanders in Chief and the drinks (or lack thereof) that made them the leaders they were. Even the hardiest fans of presidential lore will find new tidbits and fun facts packed into this informative trip through boozing history. I particularly liked that commensurate coverage was given to each president, so that the epic tales of Washington or Lincoln didn't outweigh (by depth or pages) the significant stories of A wonderful book, full of enlightening and at times amazing anecdotes about our Commanders in Chief and the drinks (or lack thereof) that made them the leaders they were. Even the hardiest fans of presidential lore will find new tidbits and fun facts packed into this informative trip through boozing history. I particularly liked that commensurate coverage was given to each president, so that the epic tales of Washington or Lincoln didn't outweigh (by depth or pages) the significant stories of your Chester Arthurs and your James K. Polks. Oh! And the drink recipes - who doesn't want to attempt to recreate some favorite presidential cocktails? Invaluable as a resource on a number of levels, and a tremendously fun read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Bottoms up! This is a whole new tour through the American presidents. In 43 chronological chapters, Will-Weber offers what he calls “an entertaining and accurate portrait of presidents imbibing.” The Pilgrims brought beer to the New World with them, and at Jamestown rum and hard cider abounded. After all, in those days alcohol was often safer to drink than water. Some of the anecdotes here may be familiar, such as the Hayes office banning alcohol — his wife was nicknamed “Lemonade Lucy” — and Bottoms up! This is a whole new tour through the American presidents. In 43 chronological chapters, Will-Weber offers what he calls “an entertaining and accurate portrait of presidents imbibing.” The Pilgrims brought beer to the New World with them, and at Jamestown rum and hard cider abounded. After all, in those days alcohol was often safer to drink than water. Some of the anecdotes here may be familiar, such as the Hayes office banning alcohol — his wife was nicknamed “Lemonade Lucy” — and Hoover presiding over Prohibition, but others fall into forgotten corners of history. For instance, you might not know that Washington had a whiskey distillery at Mount Vernon, or that Jefferson was dubbed the “First Father of Wine” for his Virginia vineyard, still in operation today. A number of presidents were famous for overindulging: Andrew Johnson was drunk during his vice-presidential inauguration in 1865, while Van Buren, Buchanan and Cleveland all suffered from gout, long associated with rich food and drink. Pierce, another hard drinker, died of cirrhosis — though you can hardly blame him, what with the deaths of his wife and best friend, author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Will-Weber has scoured the historical record, especially presidential letters, to find relevant tidbits. He even includes presidential tribute cocktails. Perhaps “The Nixon” will take your fancy: bourbon, sloe gin and peach bitters over ice. After George W. Bush’s born-again teetotalism, President Obama has made drinking cool again, with his White House honey homebrews. (Included in a BookTrib article on recent books about drinking.) Related reads: Moonshine by Jaime Joyce and Gin Glorious Gin by Olivia Williams.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Emily Evans

    Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking by Mark Will-Weber is a fun and interesting read. It shows the quirky, alcoholic, human side of the American presidents. As a history student, I found it extremely interesting to compare their drinking habits along with the historical events of their presidencies. Did you know that FDR whenever Winston Churchill came to town would have to take off the mornings in order to recover from his hangover--- Churchill could Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking by Mark Will-Weber is a fun and interesting read. It shows the quirky, alcoholic, human side of the American presidents. As a history student, I found it extremely interesting to compare their drinking habits along with the historical events of their presidencies. Did you know that FDR whenever Winston Churchill came to town would have to take off the mornings in order to recover from his hangover--- Churchill could drink. There are many more fun facts just like this inside of Mint Juleps, and even some fun cocktail recipes. The personal stories and anecdotes that Will-Weber shakes up for create an exciting image of our presidents. This past summer, I have been interning in Washington D.C., and like most interns, I walked the National Mall. While standing looking up at the Lincoln Memorial, all I could think after reading this book habits was, 'I know your drinking habits, Abe'.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    My husband and I picked up this book two years ago at a vintage store in Shirlington, Virginia. The topic, a mix of entertainment and history, peaked our interests. We spent the last couple of years reading the book aloud, a chapter at a time, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The author did a wonderful job humanizing every President. No matter your party affiliation, after reading this book (assuming you enjoy history), I think you'll find every President had endearing qualities. The My husband and I picked up this book two years ago at a vintage store in Shirlington, Virginia. The topic, a mix of entertainment and history, peaked our interests. We spent the last couple of years reading the book aloud, a chapter at a time, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The author did a wonderful job humanizing every President. No matter your party affiliation, after reading this book (assuming you enjoy history), I think you'll find every President had endearing qualities. The book was a good reminder that politicians are only human, and we all usually have more in common with them than not. A fun read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    This is a fun, but lightweight history of American presidents and their drinking habits, from George Washington's love of a good porter to Obama's White House Honey Ale. This is sourced responsibly, so enjoy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura Bedrossian

    Amazing topic/idea, less amazing execution.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The premise of this book is fantastic: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. I love presidents! I love drinking! I did not love this book. Mark Will-Weber took such a dull approach to something that could have been really fun. It really seemed like he did a CTRL F on all of his sources to look up words related to alcohol and then just copy/pasted the results into each chapter. There is zero personality to the narration of this book, which just sinks it in the entertainment department. The premise of this book is fantastic: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking. I love presidents! I love drinking! I did not love this book. Mark Will-Weber took such a dull approach to something that could have been really fun. It really seemed like he did a CTRL F on all of his sources to look up words related to alcohol and then just copy/pasted the results into each chapter. There is zero personality to the narration of this book, which just sinks it in the entertainment department. The chapters are arranged chronologically from Washington to Obama, but the stories within the chapters aren't organized chronologically, which drove me NUTS. It makes no sense to me to read a history book that is not in chronological order. It's sloppy. Know what else is sloppy? This entire book. It really seemed like a first draft that somehow eluded any editors and got published by accident. I think gout was defined at least three times. Stories were repeated that had been told in other chapters. Names are inconsistently used throughout the book- sometimes it's a nickname, sometimes initials, and then it flips back and forth within the chapter. Be consistent! There is a bibliography included, but there is no way to tell what stories in each chapter come from which source unless it says "As so-and-so wrote in his memoirs..." The general tone of the book was also just so dry. This honestly could have been presented in such a fun voice, but it's so flat and empty. Despite the editing issues, I did enjoy some of the facts about presidents and booze. My particular favorite is this quote from John Quincy Adams, which I hope to utilize for all future hangovers: "I have not yet got over the consequences of our frolick on Saturday evening."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I found Mint Juleps With Teddy Roosevelt to be rather "meh," but that could be my own fault. I think I had some preconceived notions as to what I wanted this book to be, more than what it was. What this book is: ~A mostly complete history of Presidential drinking. ~Very well-researched. ~Very fair. ~A bit redundant in places. ~Very dry. (Like I like my martinis.) What this book isn't: ~A cocktail "cookbook" of Presidential favorite libations. ~Very thorough. Mint Juleps With Teddy Roosevelt is divided I found Mint Juleps With Teddy Roosevelt to be rather "meh," but that could be my own fault. I think I had some preconceived notions as to what I wanted this book to be, more than what it was. What this book is: ~A mostly complete history of Presidential drinking. ~Very well-researched. ~Very fair. ~A bit redundant in places. ~Very dry. (Like I like my martinis.) What this book isn't: ~A cocktail "cookbook" of Presidential favorite libations. ~Very thorough. Mint Juleps With Teddy Roosevelt is divided chapter-by-chapter by President, in chronological order. Each President gets nearly exactly the same number of pages. This is great for those two fans of William Henry Harrison; not so great for fans of G. Washington. Because each President only gets a handful of pages, there's no room for backstory or setting, so I was sometimes a little confused. I also found it odd that the author so often set rather insignificant events as backdrops for drinking, rather than big, obvious things. For instance, the Lincoln chapter barely mentioned the Civil War, but it went into some discussion of his campaign for election. I had absolutely no reason to expect this, so it's all my fault and not the author's or the publisher's, but for some reason I thought there'd be a cocktail recipe for each President. There were 4 or 5 libation instructions, but not nearly as many as I'd hoped for. One thing that may be of interest to some folks is George Washington's homebrew beer instructions. In case you want to make a smallbatch of the first (and in my opinion, greatest) President's beer! This was a lengthy and text-heavy book, liberally sprinkled with some fun facts about the Presidents' drinking habits. I don't regret reading it, but I'm not going around recommending it willy nilly.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Right off the bat, I'd like to say this is a very interesting topic; the art of politics often involves schmoozing, which usually means alcohol will be present. You will learn a lot. Unfortunately there are a ton of issues with this book. Likely in order to fill pages, the author decided to repeat stories if they involved multiple presidents. The editor was atrocious. The grammatical and spelling errors were surprisingly common for an accomplished author. But what was unforgivable is the sheer Right off the bat, I'd like to say this is a very interesting topic; the art of politics often involves schmoozing, which usually means alcohol will be present. You will learn a lot. Unfortunately there are a ton of issues with this book. Likely in order to fill pages, the author decided to repeat stories if they involved multiple presidents. The editor was atrocious. The grammatical and spelling errors were surprisingly common for an accomplished author. But what was unforgivable is the sheer number of factual errors, getting wrong dates, names, and titles on a regular basis. No one was fact checking. For example, in the Woodrow Wilson chapter, the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act are declared to be one and the same. No other constitutional amendment has a name; the Volstead Act was the federal enforcement of Prohibition. During the Taft chapter, it is mentioned he was elected in 1909. We've never had a federal election in an odd numbered year. In the Chester Arthur chapter, it is mentioned Benjamin Harrison immediately followed his term after the election of 1884. Harrison was not on the ballot until 4 years later. These faux pas appear entirely too frequently for a professional book of non-fiction. It's interesting enough to have sold well though, and I hope these mistakes are fixed in the softcover edition.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Sedinger

    I wish Goodreads allowed half-stars, because I'd honestly give this one 3.5, not just 3. It's a fun book, breezy and generally light-weight, which goes through the entire history of US Presidents from Washington to Obama, from the standpoint of their drinking. Some Presidents were more into alcohol than others, but the book is still full of fun and interesting anecdotes (or macabre ones, such as the fact that President Lincoln's bodyguard ducked out of the play that fateful night for a beer when I wish Goodreads allowed half-stars, because I'd honestly give this one 3.5, not just 3. It's a fun book, breezy and generally light-weight, which goes through the entire history of US Presidents from Washington to Obama, from the standpoint of their drinking. Some Presidents were more into alcohol than others, but the book is still full of fun and interesting anecdotes (or macabre ones, such as the fact that President Lincoln's bodyguard ducked out of the play that fateful night for a beer when John Wilkes Booth was getting ready to drop by). If you like Presidential trivia, this is a nifty spin on it. Plus, there are even recipes for some Presidents' favorite drinks, including a recipe for punch that James Monroe served whose yields must be enormous (it calls for gallons of this and quarts of that).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tori

    I am finally done with this book! I almost can't believe I didn't quit sooner. I am quite interested in the subject matter here but found this book dry and poorly written. There were even several typos. It felt hurried and unedited, almost like a first draft. The author often repeats himself from chapter to chapter and even paragraph to paragraph. There are many unexplained abbreviations, unnecessary quotation marks, excessive ellipses, and run on sentences. Some one needed to spend some time I am finally done with this book! I almost can't believe I didn't quit sooner. I am quite interested in the subject matter here but found this book dry and poorly written. There were even several typos. It felt hurried and unedited, almost like a first draft. The author often repeats himself from chapter to chapter and even paragraph to paragraph. There are many unexplained abbreviations, unnecessary quotation marks, excessive ellipses, and run on sentences. Some one needed to spend some time tightening up, outlining to prevent repetitiveness, editing... And perhaps we could have had a clearer, more enjoyable book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alex Gustafson

    As enjoyable as I found it, it’s still fair to warn you that it mostly falls into what I call “bathroom reading.” It’s packaged in a way that its best read in short spurts. If you do happen to read it straight through you’ll find some of the stories overlap because of that. The advantage is it can be a really pleasant experience for the short-term reader who mostly wants to read the few chapters of their favorite presidents. Read my full review at: https://alexjgustafson.wordpress.com/...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    With a few notable exceptions (Grant, Buchanan, Pierce), most of our nation's Presidents were only mild drinkers or near-teetotalers. That's not to say that alcohol hasn't played a large role in our nation's politics, diplomacy, and affairs of state, from the Whiskey Rebellion to Obama's beer summit (the latter of which is oddly left out of this book). While I loved the idea of this book, I did feel the author had to scrounge too hard for any passing presidential reference to potent potables to With a few notable exceptions (Grant, Buchanan, Pierce), most of our nation's Presidents were only mild drinkers or near-teetotalers. That's not to say that alcohol hasn't played a large role in our nation's politics, diplomacy, and affairs of state, from the Whiskey Rebellion to Obama's beer summit (the latter of which is oddly left out of this book). While I loved the idea of this book, I did feel the author had to scrounge too hard for any passing presidential reference to potent potables to assemble a compendium of respectable size.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    I was hoping for a bit more from this book as it was not as entertaining as I was anticipating. However in chronological order we do get a brief rundown on each President and his drinking or non-drinking tendencies. No real surprises other than by and large most were light or moderate imbibers. A few hard core or low tolerance guys along the way. With all the pressures of the office one could not blame a guy for belting one back now and again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Clint Priest

    Tales of the Presidents and how alcohol played a role in each of their lives...before, during, and after their terms. Interesting read and on the lighter side. Copy editing not so well done (several typos) but intriguing for any lover of history and trivia type information. And any lover of a good drink. May even make you thirsty. Average book but still enjoyed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This was one of the most fun books I've read in a while. The author visits each of our nation's Presidents and discussing their drinking habits (or lack thereof) and how alcohol affected each of their lives and administrations. A light read, and very entertaining.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Duane Robbins

    Out of 43 men, only one can catagorically claim to have never touched a drop of alcohol while in the Oval Office. We have the expected drunks and find a few Prezs who brewed their own, from George Washington to Ike's bathtub gin during Prohibition to Obama's own White House beer. Fun ed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark Fallon

    A less than sober look at the influence of alcohol on the Chief Executives of our country - before, during and after they were President. Proof that not all history books need to be dry in order to be informative.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Don't ask me why I bothered, but it was amusing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Abraham Ray

    ok book of american presidential drinking habits

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Interesting trivia, but the book is repetitive (even lifting whole paragraphs from previous chapters), poorly edited, and poorly written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A fun book, mixed in with some history and a few beverage recipes as well. Easy to read in small snippets of time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christen

    Repetitive. Like two paragraphs basically saying the same thing. Book could have been shorter and better if edited better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Diekmann

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike Levy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allix Bell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cerasa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brynne D

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Noll

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    2.5 stars

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