Saying Andre Roussimoff was a “big guy” is a serious understatement. At 7 feet 4 inches tall and around 520 pounds, the French actor/professional wrestler was a force of nature. Better known as Andre the Giant or “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” Roussimoff was not only an undefeated champion in the ring, he was one of the greatest imbibers the world ever saw. From drinking 119 beers in one sitting to chugging 12 bottles of wine in the back of a bus, here are Andre the Giant’s amazing feats of drinking.
When he “quit drinking” he still drank five bottles of wine at dinner
According to an interview with David Lettermen
, Andre the Giant once “quit drinking” to get to a trim 475 pounds. During this period, he would still drank three to five bottles of white wine with dinner. If that passes for Dry January, then count us in.
He rang up a $40,000 bar tab
Over a month long period, while filming The Princess Bride, Andre allegedly rang up a $40,000 bar tab at the Hyatt in London. According to an interview with Cary Elwes in Vanity Fair
, Andre’s go-to order was something called an American: 40 ounces of various liquors poured into a pitcher. “I’ve never tasted airplane fuel," Elwes said, "but I imagine it’s very close to what that must taste like. It’s very potent indeed, and I remember coughing a lot. But to him, it was like chugging water.”
He drank 119 beers in six hours
Andre once consumed 119 12-oz beers in six hours. To put that in mere mortal terms, that equates to a 12-oz beer downed every three minutes, non-stop, for six hours straight. After the marathon drinking session, Andre (understandably) passed out in a hotel lobby and couldn’t be moved or stirred. His friends resorted to draping him with a piano cover and letting him sleep through the morning.
He drank a plane dry
According to Andre’s wrestling colleague Ric Flair, the Giant once drank a plane’s entire stock of vodka while on a trip to Japan. Of course, he did have some help: Flair, himself. “I've been on a plane, on a 747 with him going to Tokyo out of Chicago,” he said on ESPN’s Dan Le Batard Show
. “We drank every bottle of vodka
on the plane.”
He drank a case of wine in three hours
Flair isn’t the only pro wrestler with stories about the Giant. While on CBS Boston’s Toucher & Rich
, Hulk Hogan, who traveled extensively with Andre, recounted his own tale of Andre’s drinking prowess while on a trip in Japan. “I went down to this little karaoke bar right down the street from the hotel and I bought a case of Pouilly-Fuissé wine—12 bottles of this very powerful, powerful, strong white French wine,” Hogan said. “We left the hotel about eight in the morning for an eight hour bus ride. About three hours later he shakes the seat. He says, ‘Boss. Boss. I need pit stop.’ Three hours on a bus he drank 12 bottles of wine.”
He drank 40 Vodka Tonics
In his memoir Bobby the Brain: Wrestling's Bad Boy Tells All
, wrestling star Bobby Heenan shed light on one the most legendary Andre the Giant drinking stories, which took place at the Marriott Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. While visiting the hotel bar one night, Heenan was approached by the bartender who asked, “Is Andre here with you this time?” Heenan said no. “Oh thank God,” the bartender said. “Last time he was here, I gave him last call and he didn’t want to leave. I told him that I could only stay as long as he was drinking.” According to Heenan, Andre retaliated by ordering 40 Vodka Tonics. “[He] drank them until 4 in morning,” Heenan writes. Now that’s what we call a proper nightcap.