Tag Archives: History

50 Years Ago Today: Cassius Clay v Sonny Liston


Drinking with the Presidents


Honest Abe…Apple Cider?

“Round Robin bartender, Jim Hewes, is a dean of the Washington cocktail scene, and also something of a cocktail historian. Every inauguration season, he brings out a special menu of drinks based around what our 44 presidents drank, or might have drunk.”

Here is that list (HT: The Washington Post)

44. Barack Obama: Blue Hawaiian

Combines the president’s penchant for aged Tequila and the cool blue waters of the Pacific. Features aged Tequila, Curacao and fresh lime juice.

43. George W. Bush: Diet cola with a slice of lemon

Light and crisp, able to keep even the busiest Chief Executive, active, alert, and awake.

42. William J. Clinton: Tanquerary Gin and Tonic

A standard on the Washington cocktail circuit.

41. George H. Bush: Absolut Vodka Martini

Always politically correct, with or without garnish.

40. Ronald Reagan: California Sparkling Wine

Introduced to Washingtonians at Reagan’s first Inaugural.

39. Jimmy Carter: Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Served, much to the dismay of the fourth estate, throughout his four years in the White House.

38. Gerald R. Ford: Glenfiddich Whiskey over ice

Served in the spirit of bipartisanship. Gerry also favored Budweiser “longnecks” in the bottle.

37. Richard M. Nixon: Bacardi and Coke.

Dick would relish mixing and stirring for his guests aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia.

36. Lyndon B. Johnson: Cutty Sark and Branch Water

A post-war favorite of “Cactus Jack” Garner and Sam Rayburns’ most famous protege.

35. John F. Kennedy: Beefeater Martini, served up with olives

Served regally in the White House to those in the good graces of America’s “Camelot.”

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Johnny Walker Black Label on the rocks.

An acquired taste from his time spent at Allied headquarters in London during WWII

33. Harry S. Truman: Maker’s Mark and soda

An aficionado of Kentucky’s finest, both he and Bess enjoyed this long-drink while playing poker at the White House.

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Plymouth Gin Martini

”Oh… so cool, so clean, so awfully civilized!” Often scolded by Eleanor for his penchant for the highball, this elegant elixir was served at the most important political party in DC; the Cocktail Party.

31. Herbert Hoover: Long Island Iced Tea

Prohibition-conscious imbibers relished this enticing tall drink, which contained everything on the bar except “the kitchen sink”.

30. Calvin Coolidge: Cranberry juice and soda

A gentle New England tonic to fortify one’s Puritan constitution.

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A Child’s Introduction to Jazz, by Cannonball Adderley

Every single thing about this is beautiful. A Child’s Introduction to Jazz by Cannonball Adderley 

(…but perfect for all ages.)

Highlighting “the major styles” it is educational, laid back, beautifully narrated, and features legendary jazz figures such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet, Thelonious Monk and Cannonball himself.

(via the Aladdin’s cave that is  Open Culture)

What Brands Can Learn from a Reformed Warmonger

Ashoka the Great was emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, on the Indian subcontinent, from 269 BC to 232 BC. And for the first eight years of his reign he was, to put it mildly, a bit of a bastard. Bastardry comes in many forms, but Ashoka’s preferred brand was extreme violence.  And vast, blood-soaked quantities of it.

When a few of his harem insulted him he burned all 500 of them. He murdered 500 ministers in a test of loyalty. He killed 99 of his brothers, sparing only one. And he built a series of elaborate and hellish torture chambers…because he enjoyed torturing people in elaborate and hellish chambers.

It’s safe to say that when things didn’t go his way, Ashoka had a bit of a temper. Much like Elton John. But more so. He reigned by fear and bullying and killing people. All of which made him rather unpopular. He had all the power, but no respect. In marketing terms, his brand was toxic. Like Goldman Sachs, say. Or Gary Glitter.

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