Kathy Ehrich Dowd and Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
October 12, 2017 01:01 PM

Barbara Bush didn’t exactly have a party girl reputation when she served as first lady from 1989 to 1993, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how to have a little fun — especially when the mischief involves her granddaughters.

In their new book, Sisters First, out Oct. 24, former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, now 35, reveal that their grandmother was the one who served them their very first martinis — at the tender age of 16.

The early introduction happened while the family matriarch known affectionately as “Ganny” treated the girls to a birthday trip to Italy — and apparently decided they were ready to trade in the soft drinks for something a little harder. (Even if the teens themselves weren’t quite ready for something right out of James Bond.)

“You want to pretend that you like the martini, but straight vodka at 16? It was no wine cooler. I can tell you that much!” Jenna Bush Hager tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue while sitting down with her twin sister for an exclusive interview.

Peter Zambouros

Apparently the teens couldn’t tolerate their liquor like their grandmother, who at 92 is still unafraid to hoist a cocktail or two.

“She’s now drinking Manhattans. that’s her drink of choice,” says the Today show correspondent, who dressed as her beloved grandmother on the morning show last Halloween.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Cocktails with “Ganny” aren’t the only things the twins dish about in the new book, which is excerpted in this week’s issue.

The pair were 20 when their father, George W. Bush, began his first term in the White House — and the sisters are convinced the place is haunted.

“I was alone when I had my first encounter and Barbara thought I was being dramatic,” Jenna tells PEOPLE, expounding on a tale in the book.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

But two nights later, Barbara became a believer, too.

“We were in bed, dozing off, heard someone singing from the fireplace, like an opera-type singing,” says Barbara. “Then we heard piano music, like creepy olden times piano music coming out of the fireplace.”

The young women were so spooked they considered running into their parents’ bedroom — until they thought better of it.

“We were too old!” Jenna says.

Barbara agrees: “We talked ourselves down and did not get in bed with our parents.”

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