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New book explores cocktails fit for a president

The outline for author Brian Abrams’ new book, “Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery, and Mischief from the Oval Office” (Workman Publishing, $14.95), must have been fairly easy for him to do, at least at the start: the 44 chapters are each entitled, in chronological order, with the names of each of the U.S. presidents from George Washington onward.

Like no history book you ever read in school, “Party Like a President” has ample material from which to draw its lively anecdotes because, perhaps not surprisingly, upholding democracy is an arduous task that sometimes requires a good, stiff drink (or two or three. Some presidents, such as Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War hero, are looked back upon as big boozers).

Included in each of the chapters is a cocktail recipe that was either popular or created during that time period, or was a known favorite of the featured president, so that you, too, can enjoy the delights of democracy.

The explanation included with this one for hot rum punch claims that Franklin Pierce, president from 1853 to 1857, was partial to it — although Pierce biographer Peter A. Wallner points out “he would drink anything.”

Hot Rum Punch

1 cup lemon juice

2 cups dark rum

2 tsp. sugar

2 oz. boiling water

Fresh grated nutmeg for garnish

4 cinnamon sticks for garnish

Mix and stir the lemon juice, rum, sugar and water in heated mugs until the sugar dissolves. Top with fresh grated nutmeg and use the cinnamon sticks for garnish.

— Brian Abrams

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