Favorite Alcoholic Beverages: Presidents to Paupers

When adults in the US are away from home, they are more likely to order mixed drinks than any other type of alcoholic beverage. Among those who consumed alcohol in the previous month at restaurants and other public establishments, about 65% ordered mixed drinks, 57% drank domestic beer, 39% had white wine, 38% selected imported beer and the same proportion drank red wine, 33% drank frozen drinks, 29% chose straight liquor, and 18% drank Champagne. 1

Spectators at Indy car races consume more blush wine than the average American, according to interviews of 200,000 adults in the top 75 US markets. The interviews also found that golfers drink domestic beer 64% more often than imported beer and that attendees of R&B, rap or hip-hop concerts are 94% more likely than the average person to drink champagne. 2

In Europe and North America, lower-status people tend to prefer beer whereas upper-status people tend to prefer wine and distilled spirits. In Latin American and Africa, lower class people tend to drink homebrew, middle class people tend to drink bottled beer, and upper class people tend to prefer distilled spirits. 3

Vodka has been the largest selling distilled spirit in the US for over 25 years and one of every four alcohol drinks consumed in the world is vodka or vodka-based. 4 Not surprisingly, the most popular gift in Eastern Europe is a bottle of vodka. 5

The favorite cocktails of several former US Presidents are reported to include:

  • Gin and tonic (Gerald Ford)
  • Martini (Herbert Hoover)
  • Rum and coke; dry martini (Richard Nixon)
  • Scotch or brandy (Franklin Roosevelt)
  • Bourbon (Harry Truman)
  • Scotch and soda (Lyndon Johnson) 6

Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s favorite drink was whiskey. His adversary, dictator Adolf Hitler, was a teetotaler who abstained from alcohol. 7

Ironically, two of the most famous and successful prohibition agents of the 1920s were Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith. They enjoyed nothing more after a hard day of arresting bartenders than sitting back and enjoying their favorite beverages: beer and cocktails. 8

Shochu, a beverage distilled from barley, was the favorite beverage of the world’s longest-living man, Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan, who lived for 120 years and 237 days. He was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986. 9

Drinking in moderation is associated with better health and longer life than is either abstaining or abusing alcohol. But it doesn’t matter which alcohol beverage is a person’s favorite. Beer, wine and liquor or distilled spirits (whiskey, gin, tequila, vodka, rum, etc.) all provide the same overall health benefits.

Salud, skoal, a votre sante', prost, l'chayim, or, in English, "to your health," but all in moderation! 10

This site does not provide medical or other opinion or advice.


  • 1. Technomic finds mixed drinks surpass beer. Technomic press release, July 13, 2005
  • 2. Shlachter, B. Not All Beer Drinkers are Boozin' Slobs. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), November 7, 2002: see also Alcohol Trivia
  • 3. McCarthy, Ed. Champagne for Dummies. Foster City, California: IDG, 1999, p. 35.
  • 4. www.uselessknowledge.com
  • 5. www.absolutetrivia.com
  • 6. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, February 19, 2003; Joseph A. Califano, Jr., quoted in Presidential Vehicles. National Park service website; Politics and Government Trivia & Useless Facts (http://www.jayp.net/trivia/polit01.htm)
  • 7. Hoffmann, H. Hitler vie ihn Keiner Kennt. Berlin: Zeitgeschichte Verlag, 1932.
  • 8. Burns, Eric. The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004
  • 9. Guinness World Records 2002. Enfield, UK: Guinness, 2002, p. 19.
  • 10. See Alcohol and Health

Filed Under: Fun Facts