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President’s Day Cocktails

Contributed by

Since moving to the United States from Britain I have discovered that Thanksgiving means eating turkey, Independence Day is celebrated with lavish fireworks displays paid for by department stores and Easter is an excuse to eat lots of chocolate eggs. However, I haven’t found anyone that can tell me how to celebrate Presidents’ Day.

The holiday, of course, commemorates the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. On a recent visit to Mount Vernon, Washington’s Virginia estate, I discovered that he had a taste for fine punches and distilled his own whiskey. He may have been the country’s first commander in chief drinker—but not the last.


Franklin Roosevelt guzzled Martinis, Richard Nixon drank Cuba Libres (you have to love the irony) and Gerald Ford enjoyed the odd Gin & Tonic. Woodrow Wilson, president during the enactment of Prohibition, stashed away supplies so that he could mix his favorite libations in secret while the rest of the nation settled for bathtub gin and moonshine.

I think it’s fair to say that the proper way to celebrate Presidents’ Day (and the long weekend) is with cocktails. Here are a couple of historic drinks to get you started. Cheers!


Roosevelt Cocktail

Contributed by: Simon Ford



Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.


Lincoln Club Cooler

Contributed by: Simon Ford



Add the rum and ginger ale to a highball filled with ice.

(This recipe is adapted from Modern American Drinks by George J. Kappeler, published in 1895.)

The President

Contributed by: Simon Ford


  • 1.5 oz Dark rum (Atlantico)
  • .75 oz Orange Curacao
  • .75 oz Dry vermouth
  • Dash Grenadine
  • Glass: Cocktail


Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

(This recipe is adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock, published in 1930. The drink is also known as the El Presidente.)


Simon Ford is an award-winning bartender and director of trade outreach and brand education for Pernod Ricard USA. He is also a Liquor.com advisor.

Series & Type: History
Appears in 8 Collections

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