For most of us, a night of heavy drinking usually does not lead to rewarding consequences – whether it is the fear of waking up to some regrettable texts sent the night before or a throbbing headache and a hearty breakfast consisting of plain toast and Gatorade. Which is why it may surprise (or dismay) some of you to hear that many of history’s most influential people functioned on a 24/7 liquid diet, yet still managed to change the world. So for all of you who may have woken up this morning with a Whiskey Wednesday hangover, we present to you five of history’s most notorious drinkers to inspire you to stop complaining and do something with your day!
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He was chosen by The Sporting News as the best baseball player of all time and ended his career with an impressive total of 714 home runs – all while masterfully sporting a quite notable beer belly. For those of you who are familiar with the “Great Bambino’s” career are well aware of the fact that not only was he well-known for his home run record, but also for his reputation as quite the heavy drinker. For those of you not so familiar, we want to share with you a fun little story that basically sums it all up:
Once, when Babe Ruth visited Chicago for a game against the White Sox, the opponents (who were well aware of his signature far hits and penchant for alcohol) devised a plan to ensure that the “Great Bambino” wouldn’t be a threat to the Sox. Reportedly, some of the White Sox players took Mr. Ruth out for a booze-filled night where the bartender was more than happy to help his home team win by horribly over-serving the great slugger. By the end of the night, the White Sox players rested assured that Babe Ruth would be too smashed to play the next day. However, to everyone’s surprise, not only did the “Bambino” dominate the game, but even asked the White Sox players where they were going for a drink after the game. What is more American than that?
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Ulysses S. Grant
Not only is our next candidate notorious for his drinking, but is also regarded as one of the most influential people in American history. Ulysses S. Grant basically won the Civil War as a Union general and would later become the 18th President of the United States. So when he wasn’t busy winning wars or leading the nation, he spent his free time doing the thing he loved best: drinking.
For Mr. Grant, drinking wasn’t so much of a reward at the end of a long day as it was a hobby. And perhaps our favorite thing about Grant was that he drank whiskey like water – some even crediting his affinity towards whiskey as the reason behind his talent as a general. In fact, another famous President, Mr. Abraham Lincoln, is quoted as saying, “I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.” Well, Mr. Lincoln we know that if Grant was around now, we can guarantee his brand of choice would be Lost Republic.
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Yes, the war politician that gave the United Kingdom its leading role opposing Nazi Germany during World War II, loved his alcohol. In fact, he actually won the respect of former Soviet Leader, Joseph Stalin, after a night of heavy drinking. It is rumored that Churchill started every day with a drink his daughter called the “Daddy Cocktail” that contained Johnny Walker and a splash of water. While some may argue that his drinking got in the way of his position as a leader, we still would like to recognize that he served two terms as the British Prime Minister, served on the front-lines of India, Cuba, Sudan, and South Africa, won the Nobel Prize for literature, and still lived until the extraordinary age of 90! He had to be onto something with the “Daddy Cocktail”.
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Next time you whip out a $100 dollar bill at the bar, rest assured knowing that the face on that bill is smiling in his grave knowing that it is being spent the right way (as long as it’s on a bottle of Lost Republic). That’s right, Ben Franklin wasn’t only a Founding Father who experimented in science, writing, poetry, and art, he also experimented heavily in the art of drinking. Although a large driver behind the fact that Mr. Franklin performed most of his work drink-in-hand is because the water supply in Colonial America was unsafe to drink, we think that Ben Franklin was constantly running on a little alcohol buzz was because he simply loved it. Come on, just look at some of his writings: “…There cannot be good living where there is no good drinking.” And if that didn’t convince you: “…Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
So if you didn’t already praise Mr. Franklin for being the man during Colonial Times with his involvement in the creation of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, fight to end slavery, and invention of the lightning rod, you now can praise him for making up some awesome poems about our favorite brown water.
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It is well-known that the great American writer Ernest Hemingway lived a pretty interesting life – he fought in World War II, published 15 books, won the Nobel Prize for literature, married 4 different women throughout his life, and survived two plane crashes. And while we think all that stuff is pretty cool, we think the coolest thing about this great man is his love for some good ol’ fashioned brown water. He is even quoted as saying: “When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day, what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whiskey?” We can’t think of anything else either Mr. Hemingway.
So there you have it Pioneers, next time you are regretting participating in Whiskey Wednesday because you have a big presentation or meeting the next day, just think about how a little bit of liquid courage helped some of history’s most influential people change the world. Obviously, don’t get too out of hand.. after all, we are blessed with healthy drinking water and sometimes a fun Whiskey Wednesday will only result in a hangover on Thursday.