At 7'4" and over 500 pounds, Andre the Giant more than earned his moniker. He was a WWE champion who spent almost 15 years of his career undefeated. He was also an accomplished actor, starring in the cult-classic The Princess Bride. Even more impressive than his wrestling titles and acting chops? Andre was quite the legendary drinker, and those lucky enough to witness his feats are sharing his tales of boozy glory.
According to Drunkard, while at a bar one night, Andre didn't quite feel like leaving after last call, so the bartender said he could stay so long as he was buying drinks. Andre ordered 40 vodka tonics and sat there drinking until he finished them all around five in the morning.
No matter what the alcohol, Andre had no problem throwing it back... And lots of it too. During a tour in Japan, Hulk Hogan picked up some refreshments for Andre. "I went down to this little karaoke bar right down the street from the hotel and I bought a case of Pouilly-Fuisse wine ”” 12 bottles of this very powerful, powerful, strong white French wine," Hogan said while on the Toucher and Rich radio show in 2014. "All of a sudden we left the hotel about 8 in the morning for an eight hour bus ride. About three hours later he shakes the seat. He says, `Boss. Bossss. I need pit stop.' Three hours on a bus he drank 12 bottles of wine."
Hulk Hogan also shared another story in which he visited Andre at the airport during a layover. "He was changing planes in Tampa. I was over at my mom's house visiting and I get a call. `Hey boss I'm at the Tampa airport. I've got a one-hour layover.' I was like okay, it's fifteen minutes or so from my mom's house. So Idriveover the airport and I met him at the Delta Crown Lounge. By the time we sat down we had about 45 minutes before he had to walk to the next gate. He drank 108 12-ounce beers." When asked how that was even possible, Hogan replied, "You've got to realize that a 12-ounce beer he can put in his hand and hide it. You can't see the beer in his hand."
Andre used to drink before wrestling matches, unbeknownst to his fellow competitors. "Andre used to ask me to get him six bottles of Mateus wine and ice them down. He would drink those before we went to the ring and no one could tell," said fellow wrestler Gerald Brisco. "One night in Sarasota, Andre is traveling with us. So we pull over and get two cases of tall boys. By the time we get from Sarasota to the Tahitian Inn on Dale Mabry, the two cases were bone dry."
Andre used to make a drink he called "The American." The drink consisted of 40 ounces of several different liquors, served in a pitcher. According to his Princess Bride co-star, Cary Elwes, Andre would drink these like a kid would eat candy. "I've never tasted airplane fuel, 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."
Cary Elwes also revealed that while shooting The Princess Bride, he and Andre would go out drinking with co-star Mandy Patinkin. By the end of the film's shoot, Andre had rang up a bar tab of $40,000 at his hotel.
While at an ocean-front bar in the '70s, Andre was about 60 beers in when he was sucker-punched by a fellow wrestler. Andre grabbed the sucker-puncher and his acquaintance (both individually weighing over 240 pounds), dragged them to the ocean and held them underwater. Ric Flair got Andre to let them go, but it taught the two men a valuable lesson: Don't mess with Andre, no matter how many drinks he's had.
Prior to his famous Wrestlemania III match against Hulk Hogan, Andre required major back surgery. There was just one small problem: The anesthesiologist had never put someone Andre's size under before, and he wasn't sure how to approach it. Specialists were brought in, and one doctor finally asked him how much he drank and how much it took to get him drunk. Andre's response? "It usually takes two liters of vodka just to make me feel warm inside." Allegedly, the doctors used this information to figure out how much anesthesia to give Andre before his surgery.