Ian Somerhalder reveals he had first drink at age 4: I ‘stole’ mint juleps

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He was a toddler with a toddy.

Ian Somerhalder got an early start to drinking booze when he was just a little boy.

“I used to steal mint juleps from my family,” the “Vampire Diaries” alum, now 44, told Page Six exclusively at a party for his and former co-star Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon in Miami earlier this week. “It was the early ‘80s, like ‘81.”

Somerhalder, who grew up in Louisiana, said his family’s property was always surrounded by sugar cane, which is one of the ingredients in mint juleps.

He added that “as a little kid” bourbon was a big part of the “culture” of the South.

A young Ian Somerhalder posing for a photo with his family.
Somerhalder (far right) said some of his “earliest memories” were making mint juleps with his family.
Ian Somerhalder drinking.
The actor still enjoys drinking bourbon.
Ian Somerhalder/Twitter

“Those are the first memories I have of muddled mint, sugar cane and that smell of bourbon,” the “Lost” alum said.

“Especially back then, there was no socioeconomics for bourbon, so someone who was an executive of a company is going to be drinking the same bourbon as someone who is a blue collar worker, so that was really amazing, sort of this level-playing field.”

When asked what age Somerhalder used to sneak drinks from his elders, he responded, “I’m sure it was 4” and shared that he definitely got caught red-handed a few times and was told to “put that down!”

Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder posing together.
Somerhalder used his passion for whiskey to co-found Brother’s Bond Bourbon with his “Vampire Diaries” co-star Paul Wesley.
Ian Somerhalder posing with a bottle of his whiskey.
Somerhalder said drinking is part of “bonding” in the South.
Ian Somerhalder/Twitter

“It’s literally part of culture down there and it’s really special because it’s bonding,” the soon-to-be father of two explained. “It’s what so many families do and it’s just special.”

Somerhalder’s naughty streak did not stop when he was just a little kid, though.

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The “V Wars” alum also told us he used to do “blood doping” as a young athlete in the early ’90s.

According to the Partnership for Clean Competition, when blood doping, the athlete’s own red blood cells are re-added to the bloodstream to “enhance performance in endurance disciplines.”

A young Ian Somerhalder smiling at an event.
Somerhalder also confessed to “blood doping” when playing competitive sports growing up.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
A young Ian Somerhalder at a red carpet event.
“You have 35 percent more oxygen usage, so you’re just like a beast,’ the TV star shared.

“It’s super illegal in competitive sports but, like, we used to spit out plasma before like a huge race or something and just shoot it all back in,” Somerhalder shared.

“We used to do triathlons and we used to do like 100-mile road races and you spit out all your plasma and put it back in right before your race. You have 35 percent more oxygen usage, so you’re just like a beast.”

Wesley, who was present for the interview, chimed in that he had “no idea that existed.”

“It’s blood doping,” Somerhalder reiterated. “You can’t do it anymore, [but] oh my God, in the early 90s, in competitive sports, especially, like, triathlons and road races, yeah everybody did it.”

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