The Memphis Flyer is here to delight you and/or give you justification for hitting the bottle bright and early with a report on President Harry Truman’s notable fondness for Old Grand-Dad.
The occasion: Truman Day, the May 8 celebration of the President who is “well-known for helping found the United Nations, enacting the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe post-WWII, and spearheading a new era of civil rights reforms, including integration of the armed forces.” They suggest it as an alternative to guzzling margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. Just wait three days and have bourbon with breakfast instead!
According to his biographer, David McCullough, who won a Pulitzer for his 1992 tome, Truman, the president began most days at 5 a.m. with a shot of bourbon — Old Grand-Dad and Wild Turkey were his favorites. With his doctor’s approval, Truman would enjoy an egg, a slice of toast, a slice of bacon, a glass of skim milk, and a shot of Old Grand-Dad — the latter was purportedly drunk after his morning constitutional. It “got the engine running,” Truman said. You can try it yourself at home, or take a trip to Louisville’s Dish on Market restaurant, where the Presidential Breakfast will set you back $10.
The article also makes note of a legend surrounding the whiskey connoisseur-in-chief. The story goes that Truman’s favorite cocktail was “an Old Fashioned — but, humorously, sans bitters, sugar, citrus, or a maraschino cherry.”
The whole piece is worth a read. If you need us, we at The Takeout will be hard at work, taste-testing the Truman Old Fashioned. For history.