“I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me,” Winston Churchill once said.

prime minister winston churchill and president franklin roosevelt. Both men liked their cocktails.

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Prime Minister Churchill having dinner on one of his many visits to meet with President Franklin Roosevelt. Although Churchill certainly drank more alcohol than FDR, the President was a man who liked two or three or martinis before dinner.

(photo courtesy of US National Archives and Records Administration)

Winston Churchill liked to drink, of that there is no doubt. His dozens and dozens of biographers disagree on how much alcohol he consumed each day but they agree it was a lot.  In a series on lectures on Churchill by Professor J. Rufus Fears delivered for the Teaching Company, Dr. Fears says Churchill drank at least a dozen strong scotches a day. Plus assorted champagne, sherry, brandy, port and French wines.

 

Churchill’s study at Chartwell, his country home, courtesy of UK National Trust.

Another source, his historical research assistant of many years, Dr. Maurice Ashley, described evening meals at the many times he spent at Chartwell, Churchill’s much-beloved country home.

“Before dinner we had sherry, then Champagne, brandy and port…” Note the words “before dinner.”  During dinner, Churchill drank various wines and afterward more port, brandy and often champagne (which he also enjoyed many times at breakfast).

Many times, Dr. Ashley met Churchill at the great man’s  flat in London:

“When I used to visit him in the morning at a flat… he always greeted me with a glass of sherry. He could not stand cocktails. For lunch, there was beer, at tea he had whiskey.”

What is amazing is that Churchill drank this much alcohol on a daily basis through his entire adult life. Nor did he stop when he grew quite old. 

“Near the end of his life, a new MP asked the former prime minister if he would like some tea. Churchill replied, “No. Don’t be a bloody fool. I want a large glass of whisky!”

Churchill died in 1965, age 90. During these 90 years, he served more than 60 years in Parliament. 

Sources:

Churchill by Professor J. Rufus Fears, PhD Harvard University. Professor Emeritus of History, University of Oklahoma

 

Churchill in the Wilderness A Biography

www.nationaltrust.org.ukchartwell-house-studio-and-garden

 

 

Churchill At War

 

 Photographs of Prime Minister Winston Churchill During World War Two

 

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04 Jul 1940, London, England, UK — Prime Minister Winston Churchill leaving a building. While long out of fashion, Churchill continued to use a walking stick which had been given him by Edward VII.

( Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS Courtesy PBS.org)

 

Winston Churchill

Churchill loved uniforms. He was made an honorary air commodore of 615 Squadron, RAF Fighter Command early in the war. In the photo above, he is wearing an RAF uniform of that rank. Churchill learned to fly before World War One so he earned his “wings” himself.

(photo courtesy of www.standard.co.uk)

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FDR and Churchill: Casablanca, Morocco January 1943. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill speak on the lawn of the President’s villa during a conference. (Photo Credit: Corbis, courtesy of history.com)

yalta-conference

comments Charles McCain: compare FDR’s appearance in this photo with the one above and you can see that his health had deteriorated markedly in just two years. He is thinner, eyes more sunken and appears exhausted and listless which he was.

World Leaders at the Yalta Conference: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, American President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill seated together during the Yalta Conference, February 4-11, 1945. (Photo Credit: Corbis, courtesy of history.com)

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Winston Churchill with D-Day Veterans: July 22, 1944. In Caen, France Prime Minister Winston Churchill speaks to veterans of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. (Photo Credit: Corbis, courtesy of history.com)