Here in Tucson, we hardly acknowledge Presidents' Day. That's why I was particularly surprised (and so, so delighted!) to hear this story on NPR on my drive to work.
They were talking about Brian Abrams' new book (with illustrator John Mathias) Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery and Mischief
—I know. History, booze and general mischief? Our favorites!
Known as the president who repealed Prohibition, Franklin D. Roosevelt fancied himself the mixologist-in-chief, Abrams says, but many of his colleagues disagreed.
"A lot of his friends and colleagues said that he was an awful bartender," Abrams told NPR's David Greene on Morning Edition. "I think that he really had a fondness for the mixology culture that was born in the Prohibition years."
Abrams says Plymouth martinis were FDR's specialty: He'd toss in interesting ingredients, such as a combined garnish of olives and lemon peels. Sometimes he added a few drops of absinthe. Guests often complained he used too much vermouth.
"There was a Supreme Court justice [Samuel Rosenman] who poured his cocktails in a potted plant almost every time," Abrams says.
FDR's "deplorable invention," according to his son James Roosevelt, was the Haitian Libation, which consisted of orange juice, dark rum, an egg white and a dash of brown sugar on the rocks. Yuck.
I mean, if FDR offered me that, I'd drink it.
NPR points out that Presidents' Day is hardly a party holiday—Well, in Tucson it's barely even a holiday. So, let's start a new tradition. When you get home from work (because I know you didn't get the day off) grab a bottle of vermouth and get creative. I'll be the one with a martini wiggling to Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.