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A Personalized Pour from History on the Rocks

POTUS Potables: William Henry Harrison

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 27, 2015 12:30:00 PM / by Tori Zopf

This recipe is part of an ongoing series to complement our series Unnoticed POTUS.  Look out for a new, presidential cocktail from POTUS Potables each Friday after Unnoticed POTUS is published.



All of us here at History on the Rocks are feeling a little bit more squeamish about WHH than we expected to. If you haven’t read it, get over to our article on Unnoticed POTUS William Henry Harrison. But seriously, he was not a nice guy.

One of the most evil things about William Henry Harrison was his penchant for getting people drunk in order to get them to do something he wanted them to do. This is a horrible practice.

Beginning in 1809 as the Governor of the Indiana Territory, he stole three million acres of farmland from the Putawatimies by “[making] it clear to the chiefs that no whiskey would be forthcoming until their marks of consent were on the treaty.” Later, at the signing of the Treaty of Fort Wayne, the Miami tribe was “mellowed with wine”.

Harrison received his most well-known nickname from the Battle of Tippecanoe, which started as a surprise ambush led by Tenskwatawa (a reformed alcoholic and brother of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, who would later be killed in battle with WHH during the War of 1812) in response to attempted intimidation of the tribe into agreeing to the Treaty of Fort Wayne.

Despite all of his dependence on whiskey to achieve political gains, William Henry Harrison was also an outspoken believer in the “destructive progress of intemperance”. He also was known to be a drinker, both medicinally and otherwise.

Our blog talked a lot about Harrison’s “Log Cabin and Hard Cider” campaign in our Unnoticed POTUS post. For the uninitiated, this campaign placed Harrison as a drinker of hard cider and a friend of the commoner in opposition to the bourgeois Martin Van Buren. This worked, as Harrison was able to win the election of 1840 over incumbent MVB.

With a presidential election on the line, we thought it made sense to base our drink on the campaign’s theme.


In a pint glass, measure 1.5 oz. of Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon over several ice cubes. Fill glass with hard cider. We recommend something on the sweeter side, like Downeast Original Blend or Woodchuck Amber. Sip as if you are not an aristocrat at all, but a lowly commoner.

As a bonus, the Tipsycanoe can be easily modified to be served warm, for those days when you’re recovering from a cold you got from spending too much time giving your inaugural address without a coat on.

The Hot Tip:

Combine 1.5 oz of Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon in a mug with mulled apple cider. If you need a bigger kick, you can mull hard apple cider as well. Just make sure you don’t let it boil.
Don’t have a recipe for mulled cider? Here’s ours.

History on the Rocks Mulled Apple Cider

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and simmer on LOW for 1 hour. Let cool slightly and serve with your favorite POTUS Potable.

Further Reading:


Topics: POTUS Potables

Tori Zopf

Written by Tori Zopf