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Books,Champagne,Spirits,Wine,Wine Writer

A Republican and a Democrat bumped into each other this 4th of July for a drink

Interesting concept, huh?

I have a friend in the CIA, who once told me, when the GOP is in the house, they enjoy hard liquor. When the DEMs are in the house, they prefer wine. Meanwhile, I know who has their “House” wine, but can’t tell.

How about celebrating this Fourth of July weekend by taking a quick look at our political parties, and the parties they threw after signing our Declaration of Independence and the birth of our nation? Our leaders all had a relationship to booze; whether they enjoyed it or were dry. Wine, beer, and spirits have played a role in our history, and this 4th of July, we celebrate our right to continue to enjoy the freedom of making and having that choice.

Fun with Presidential Libations

Straight from Regnery Publishing, from Mark Will-Weber’s research and writings, two new books have been published, and we’re all invited to delicious, libation history lessons. The first book that I read of Mark’s was Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, The Compete History of Presidential DrinkingIt was a well-researched and documented history book, the likes of which hadn’t yet been revealed. Entertaining, enlightening, frightening, and really captivating, it’s a classic one to have in a wine book library, to be sure. It so inspired me to learn more about that time and how it was viewed politically from inside of the White House.

Mark Will-Weber is a seasoned journalist, magazine editor, and book author. Now, two new books by Mark Will-Weber have arrived:

 

Need cocktail recipes? Each book has at least 20…

Again, Mark Will-Weber has captured the heart and soul of spirits in our nation’s capital. Straight up or with a twist, our politico are every bit as human (and sometimes frail) as the rest of us. Mark’s introductions and quotes from historical references are classic, (sometimes) funny, and very revealing in each instance.

I’ve chosen two, to whet your appetite… The first was very unfamiliar to me. I didn’t study the Presidents in American History. We seemed to be too busy on the East Coast with the settling of America and then learning about the wars. I regret not learning about each president… But then, what teacher is going to encourage their presidential imbibing habits to minors, while presidents made life and death decisions?

 

The Republican ~ Chester Arthur (1881-1885)

You also may not remember Chester. He didn’t win an election. He became President after James Garfield‘s assignation. Garfield was president for only 200 days… This one is a lesson to be considered, when choosing a VP. If a dandy has been chosen, then don’t be surprised when the party animal takes over. Arthur’s wife Ellen Herndon died suddenly in 1880, before Chester had taken office, so Chester Arthur’s sister Mrs. Mary McElroy came into the White House to serve as First Lady. Both of them had an appetite for splendor, and they spent equally well.

So, his tasting preferences during the Gilded Age? … And let’s remember, this book is filled with historical quotations. This one is under the title of THE WISE PORTRAIT:

“In Recollections of Thirteen Presidents (published in 1909), Congressman Wise wrote of Arthur, the mutton-chopped twenty-first president:

“Arthur was a high liver. He was not by any means a drunkard, but he was a typical New York man-about-town, and showed it in his fat and ruddiness. He ate and drank too much, and died young from the effects of over-indulgence. He loved good company, and his high-ball, and his glass of champagne, and his late supper with a large cold bottle and a small hot bird.”

The Democrat ~ John F. Kennedy

My first thought was Camelot. I, as much as anyone else, was as entranced as everyone else. I also didn’t realize until just now, that both presidents have ties to assassination. Pure Coincidence.

Meanwhile, what was Camelot like, during those years while we were asking ourselves what we could do for our country… amid avoiding the Vietnam War?

Joe Kennedy‘s fortunes are a result of being connected to the Mafia, ergo, they owned the presidency (whether or not we enjoy knowing that). Enough documentaries have emerged from history for us to be informed – as possibilities…  Mark writes:

“… it is hard to envision Camelot-or at least the Jack and Jacky version of it-without daiquiris, the occasional Bloody Mary, or the finest French champagne.”

Very interesting reading, this chapter… I’m going to go light on it, sort of…

After the assassination, we were told that in 50 years we’d all learn what really happened and by whom. To my utter dismay, Barack Obama announced – and it was 49 years after – not yet. I think I needed a drink on that decision, after I had waited 50 years. At least I have enough suppositions.

Jackie’s Daiquiris

Jacqueline Kennedy‘s favorite drink was French Champagne-and not just any champagne but Veuve Clicquot served in an elegant flute glass (something of morbid irony, in hindsight, since this premium vintage from Reims is named for a nineteenth-century French widow). However, Jackie also would occasionally kick back with a daiquiris during summer get togethers at their Cape Cod compound.”

Jack’s Twist

An unusual one-off incident… Ben Bradley, a former managing editor with the Washington Post waiting a long time for this story to surface. Again, its a one-off story:

“…after dinner Lee Radziwell put Chubby Checker‘s record on and gave all the men lessons. The champagne was flowing like the Potomac in flood, and the president himself was opening bottle after bottle in a manner that sent the foam flying over the furniture, shouting, ‘Look at Bill go’ to Walton, or ‘Look at Benji go’ to me, as we practiced with ‘the princess.'”

 

 

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