The prohibition-era El Presidente rum cocktail has been around since the 1920's but was very popular in the 50's when Americans enjoyed a long weekend in Havana.
This Refreshing, Sweet Cocktail is a Taste of Old Havana
Like many classic drinks, the El Presidente creation story is hard to pin down. There are more than a few rival stories about who created it and when. Hopefully, everyone can agree that this delicious, complex cocktail was named after the President of Cuba, General Gerardo Machado. It quickly became a crowd favorite as Americans flocked to Havana for fun and sun during Prohibition, and again in the 1950's.
Ingredients Needed for an El Presidente
The El Presidente is an easy-to-make classic cocktail that can be whipped up with ingredients you probably already have in your bar. What you'll need is:
- White rum
- Dry vermouth
- Orange liquour
Chilled with some ice, you'll be enjoying this classic in no time.
Bar tools needed
You need a few standard tools to make this drink:
- Bar spoon
- Mixing glass
How to Make it
This drink is very easy to make. Simply follow the steps below:
- Pour each of the ingredients into the mixing glass.
- Spoon the grenadine into the mixing glass (I usually just use a couple of bar spoonfuls.)
- Stir to thoroughly mix and chill ingredients, and then strain the mixture into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a twist of orange and it's ready to enjoy!
Tips for a Successful El Presidente
Keep these things in mind while mixing up this easy and refreshing cocktail:
- Choose a quality white rum that helps alleviate that harsh alcohol taste that some lesser rums can have. Bacardi is easy to find and has a smooth, sweet taste that mixes well with the nutty vermouth.
- Do not overdo it with the grenadine. It is a very sweet addition and can overwhelm the delicate sweet and nutty flavors of this cocktail.
Looking for Cuban cocktails? Try these, too: Cuba Libre, Classic Mojito, and Daiquiri Cocktail.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use any type of rum, but this cocktail is typically mixed with a white rum rather than a dark or golden rum. One of the features of the cocktail is its red-ish color from the Grenadine, and if you use a dark rum that is lost.
The drink should be strained into a cocktail glass. The drink will already be chilled from stirring it in the mixing glass, so there's no need for additional ice. Using a stemmed glass, you will not warm the cocktail with the heat from your hand so it will remain nice and cold as you drink it.
Before you go, did you try this cocktail? Why not leave a comment in the comments section along with a rating? I always appreciate hearing from you and getting your feedback.
The Classic El Presidente Rum Cocktail
- 1 Mixing glass
- 1 Bar Spoon
- 1 Strainer
- 1 Cocktail jigger
- 1.5 oz White Rum
- .75 oz Dry Vermouth
- .25 oz Orange Curaçao
- .10 oz Grenadine
- Pour all ingredients into a large mixing glass with ice.
- Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.
- Add an orange peel for garnish (optional)
- You should use a quality white rum for a sweet aftertaste.
- Experiment with various orange liquours to find the right one for you. I prefer Cointreau but others like Grand Marnier.
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