At the time of writing, Gary Oldman, who played Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”, has won the Oscar for Best Actor. In the film, Churchill could not stop drinking Champagne whenever he had lunch with King George VI. When asked how he could start drinking from noon, he said it had taken him “years of practice”. Many alcohol lovers would nod in agreement.
Churchill’s fondness for alcohol is well-known. It was said that he would have a glass of whiskey soda in the morning, a champagne at lunch, another whiskey soda after his afternoon nap, and even more alcohol at dinner. His go-to whiskey was Johnnie Walker Red Label, and his children called its mixture with soda drink “Papa’s Cocktail”. Churchill had 6 to 8 glasses of that every day. He also loved Champagne.Some even said he had had 42,000 bottles throughout his life. Pol Roger was his favourite, and it led to a lifelong friendship with the champagne house’s owner Odette Pol-Roger. Every year, she would send a case of champagne to Churchill on his birthday. When he died at 65, the brand’s champagne donned a black label to commemorate him. To pay tribute to the great politician and family’ friend, Pol Roger named its best champagne after Churchill.
In 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister of England. At that time, the major task at hand was to fight against the German Nazi. Alcohol had become an important mental support as well as a diplomatic instrument for him. When Churchill visited the White House, he would spend hours drinking with the then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Churchill’s schedule – so unlike Roosevelt’s normal day-to-day – was coined “Winston Hours”. It was said that after Churchill left, Roosevelt slept 10 hours a night for three days to recover. To form an ally with the Soviet Union against Germany, he drank a few times with Stalin. Stalin even gave him Armenian brandy Ararat as a gift. Many historians now concluded that Churchill suffered depression and drinking was a way out for him. His drinking habit had probably been the stamina to lead the world out of the darkest moments. In other words, alcohol may have saved the world.