El Presidente

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Cocktail History

The El Presidente is a classic cocktail that was created in Havana, Cuba in the early 1900s. It was named for Mario García Menocal, Cuba’s president from 1913 to 1921, and it’s traditionally made with white rum, dry vermouth, citrus, and grenadine. The recipe became especially popular among Americans during Prohibition when they traveled to Cuba to enjoy mixed drinks while they were outlawed in the United States.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

White Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugar cane juice and a neutral spirit that is filtered and bottled right away without the aging process. We used BACARDÍ Superior White Rum because it has a soft and slightly sweet rum flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum.

Dry Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry because it has a light and airy flavor profile with notes of Alpine herbs. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth.

Orange Curaçao: This is a liqueur made with oranges, sugar, and brandy or rum. We used Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge because it has a rich Cognac base with notes of bitter orange, hazelnut, and toffee. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Triple Sec Syrup in place of the orange liqueur.

Grenadine: This is a sweetener made with pomegranate juice and white sugar. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Orange Peel: This the peel of an orange that is cut into a strip.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The El Presidente features aromas of citrus and vermouth, the initial taste of rum mixed with the fortified wine’s flavor, and a hint of grenadine and citrus on the swallow.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We thought this drink was tart, refreshing, and tasty and that it would be especially delicious with savory meals. We’d definitely make it again, just with a little less vermouth next time. The original recipe called more, and we thought that overpowered the other ingredients too much.

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Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$21.56

AuthorThe Art of Vintage Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz White Rum
 ¾ oz Dry Vermouth
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 1 Orange Peel

Method
1

Add rum, dry vermouth, orange curaçao, grenadine, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with orange peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz White Rum
 ¾ oz Dry Vermouth
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 1 Orange Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, dry vermouth, orange curaçao, grenadine, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with orange peel.

El Presidente

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth, and Monin Premium Triple Sec Syrup in place of the orange liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

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More Rum Cocktails

If you like this rum-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Dark N Stormy Cocktail Recipe

Dark ‘N’ Stormy: A dark rum cocktail made with lime juice, ginger beer, and a lime wheel

Jamaican Mule Cocktail Recipe

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, and an orchid blossom

Mocha Rum Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Mocha Rum Toddy: A rum cocktail made with coffee, dark crème de cacao, simple syrup, whipped cream, and cocoa powder

Airmail Cocktail Recipe

Airmail: A gold rum cocktail made with lime juice, honey syrup, sparkling wine, and a lime peel

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