9 of the Most Famous Whiskey Drinkers in History and Today
This article orginally appeared on Liquor.com.
For whiskey lovers, there’s little better than ending a long day with a glass of whiskey. And no matter how famous you are, this simple pleasure can’t be replaced.
Some may prefer Scotch or bourbon, others rye or Japanese whisky. Either way, all you need to indulge in this simple pleasure is a glass, maybe a little ice and your favorite bottle of whiskey.
Ready to pour a glass right now? Get inspired by these stars who love a glass of the stuff every now and then—some more “now” than “then.”
1. Frank Sinatra
It’s a well-known fact that Ol’ Blue Eyes loved Jack Daniel’s. Hell, he was even buried with a bottle of Old No. 7 when he died in 1998. Last year, Jack Daniel’s released a bottle in honor of the late singer called Sinatra Select—what greater honor could there be? After all, he did say, “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.”
2. Mark Twain
Renowned author of books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, funny man and all-around impressive guy, Samuel Langhorne Clemens—better known by his pen name, Mark Twain—had a certain affinity for whiskey. He couldn’t get enough of it, once saying, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”
3. Raymond Chandler
Gimlets are typically the drink that come to mind when thinking of Raymond Chandler. But don’t confuse Chandler with Philip Marlowe, the Gimlet-loving famous detective from Chandler’s crime novels. There was no one whiskey Chandler preferred. He was an equal opportunity drinker, once saying, “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”
4. Sir. Winston Churchill
Movie stars and writers aren’t the only ones that know how to put back a hefty glass of whiskey. Even former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew that whiskey was the key to a better life—both at home and when he was fighting for his country. He famously said, “When I was a young subaltern in the South African War, the water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”
5. Ava Gardner
Glowing and elegant, just like a fine glass of whiskey, Oscar-nominated actress Ava Gardner had but one request: “I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.” Sadly, her wish didn’t come true and she passed away at the age of 67 (hopefully with a cigarette and glass of whiskey within reach). It’s never too late to raise a glass in her honor.
6. Haruki Murakami
Japanese author Haruki Murakami is known for best-selling novels like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84. He also, apparently, has a taste for the distinctive whisky of his motherland. “Whisky, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation,” he said. “You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.”
7. William Faulkner
“My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food and a little whisky.”
What else would you expect from a Mississippi-born and -raised writer? His books The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying are still taught in high school English classrooms across the country, but his sound advice for writing seems to have been lost over time. Paper, tobacco, food and whiskey seem like a great way to cure anyone’s writer’s block.
8. George Bernard Shaw
It’s not too surprising to find an Irish playwright on this list—and there are surely many others that could fill the bill. But George Bernard Shaw, who penned Pygmalion and Caesar and Cleopatra, wisely said, “Whisky is liquid sunshine.” He, apparently, also subscribed to the same philosophy as Faulkner.
9. Hillary Clinton
Bet you didn’t expect to see this (potential) 2016 hopeful on the list.
The former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady is known for her political prowess, but she’s also been known to slug whiskey every now and again. In 2008, a Politico reporter caught her downing a shot of Crown Royal at a bar in Crown Point, Indiana, during her 2008 presidential bid (Canadian whisky? Tsk, tsk, Mrs. Clinton). The same year, she visited the Maker’s Mark distillery and dipped her own bottle in the famous red wax (now we’re a little jealous). At least it’s clear her taste in whiskey is worth voting for.