George Washington was a successful whiskey maker, as people will see when visiting his distillery being restored near Mount Vernon.

At the request of Mount Vernon officials, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has agreed to pay the entire $1.2 million cost of the five-year restoration.

Distilling has always been a part of American history and the nation's first president often promoted the benefits of drinking in moderation.

The Smithsonian Institution will loan a restored copper still reputed to be one of the five used by President Washington, whose distillery was a major source of income.


  • Masters, B. A. First President's 100-Proof Heritage at Mount Vernon: Washington's Whiskey Distillery to be Rebuilt. San Francisco Chronicle, 12-7-00, A8.