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  • Steven Hansen

Spirits of Our Heroes

Updated: Jul 6


Some well-oiled merrymaker once said, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can prepare a cocktail. And that’s kind of the same thing.” Indeed, a tipple or two at cocktail hour among friends can do wonders for the soul and restore one’s faith in humanity.

Plenty of virtuous and successful people agree. Here are some favorite sips of the famous.


Winston Churchill offered houseguests unlimited quantities of his favorite Pol Roger Champagne. Queen Elizabeth II has one Gordon’s gin and tonic with three slices of lemon every afternoon.


Ernest Hemingway preferred drinking absinthe, mojitos, “Papa Doble” daiquiris (rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur), martinis, brandy, wine -- and well, you name it.



Frank Sinatra, the suavest guy of any cocktail party scene, drank Jack Daniels and water on the rocks. He was even buried with a bottle of JD, along with a pack of Camel cigarettes and a lighter.

Marilyn Monroe’s favorite tipple was Dom Perignon 1953. Oprah Winfrey’s cocktail of choice is the lemon drop. Dorothy Parker took little sips of Haig & Haig Scotch whisky throughout the day -- micro-dosing you could say-- to keep her wit sharpened.


Thomas Edison and Pope Leo XIII both drank Vin Mariani, a mixture of Bordeaux wine and coca leaf extract (aka the “natural cocaine” that was part of the original Coca Cola recipe) for added zing.


James Bond’s vodka martinis were always shaken, not stirred, of course.



Lady Gaga prefers to sip Jameson Irish whiskey. Barack Obama cracks open Bud Lites. Taylor Swift drinks white wine with ice. For Homer Simpson, only Duff Beer will do the trick.


For Ray Charles it was a cup of black coffee mixed Bols Genever gin.



And of course, Janis Joplin = Southern Comfort.



Video: Bar scene from “The Thin Man” (1934) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles.



Photos (from top): Cocktail bar, Seo Seungwon from Pixabay; Queen Elizabeth II, Pxfuel.com; Ernest Hemingway, Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche – Venice; Frank Sinatra, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Daniel Craig as James Bond, MGM/Columbia; Ray Charles, Victor Diaz Lamich, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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