Slate’s ever talented and entertaining John Dickerson dips into the history of drinking in American politics with a booze-soaked stemwinder of a story.

The inspiration for the piece is the transition from the Bush White House (mirthless, mostly dry, lousy wine) to the Obama White House (aloha, alcohol!), but the story is a blast to read thanks largely to its historical anecdotes.

“Every evening, including during the war, Roosevelt mixed drinks in the Oval Office from behind his desk, before him a tray equipped with whatever he needed for the martinis or old fashioneds he was mixing. ‘He mixed the ingredients,’ recalled author Robert Sherwood, ‘with the deliberation of an alchemist but with what appeared to be a certain lack of precision since he carried on a steady conversation while doing it.’”

It’s also worth noting that Richard Nixon makes a memorable guest appearance in Dickerson’s story as America’s Awkward Drunk in Chief.

Image source: flickr member aaron.michels under Creative Commons

See more articles