He’ll Have It Neat
Bourbon, Tequila, and Dom Perignon: Inside John Wayne’s Liquor Cabinet
As well as Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon neat, America’s most famous cowboy also liked to sip Château Lafite Rothschild and fancy Champagne.
On screen, John Wayne was the definition of a straight-shooting, tough guy who didn’t take crap from anybody. Off camera, the Duke (who would have turned 109 this Thursday), no surprise, liked a stiff drink, usually Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon neat.
That is unless he was on his annual summer pilgrimage to Alaska on broad his 136-foot yacht the Wild Goose, a former World War II-era Navy minesweeper. On those trips, remembers his youngest son Ethan Wayne, if they saw an iceberg they’d pull close and use the boat’s fire axes to break off a bit of what they called “glacier ice,” which would be kept in freezers built into the deck. John particularly prized the ice, since, Ethan says “one piece would last all night” and it wouldn’t water down the drinks.
“He always went for bourbon over generic whiskey,” says Ethan. However, he also had another favorite spirit. “If he wanted a drink it was bourbon or tequila,” says Ethan. John preferred to drink his tequila with crushed ice and a tiny sliver of lemon.