On this day in 1836, the 8th president of the United States was elected, Martin Van Buren. President Van Buren was known to be quite the drinker in his time. His favorites were Madeira (a Portuguese wine) and Montepulciano (an Italian wine), but he wouldn’t shy away any libation. Some historians even refer to him as “Blue Whiskey Van”. Martin spent many hours drinking with other politicians at his father’s tavern in Kinderhook, New York. In his youth, he would often work at the tavern. Perhaps this might have something to do with his affection for alcohol.
In fact, Kinderhook was also known as “Old Kinderhook” during Van Buren’s political campaigns and supporters would come to town with “OK” (Old Kinderhook) on their clothing indicating “right on” or “good”. The Democratic party carried this term throughout elections over the years, and this is supposedly where today’s term “O.K.” comes from!
Today, you can find the Kinderhook Tap (Tavern) in Oak Park, Illinois. There, you can order from a wonderful food menu or try one of their many nice craft beer selections from the awesome beer menu, or the Martini Van Buren (North Shore Gin or Vodka & your choice of olives) or Old K Fashioned (Whiskey & Peychaud’s Bitters on the rocks).