John Adams faced the day after bracing himself with a glass of hard cider. White House

2. John Adams abhorred drunkenness, but started each day with a glass of hard cider

When John Adams served as an emissary to both Britain and France, he wrote to his wife Abigail disapprovingly of the heavy consumption of alcohol he observed in both societies. Though he was not a teetotaler, he found the long series of wines served at formal dinners – and the period of toasts among the gentlemen which followed – to be contrary to the conduct of business. He also found the drinking in Britain’s taverns and the streets and alleys of London shocking. Nonetheless, throughout his adult life, Adams began each day by drinking a glass of hard cider before consuming a modest breakfast and beginning his work.