Created in the early 20th Century, the El Presidente cocktail was popular in the 1920s to 1940s. As with many prohibition era cocktails, its experienced a renaissance in recent years. El Presidente is named for the Cuban President Gerado Machado.

El Presidente

The El Presidente is closely related to the Bacardi Cocktail, but replaces an ounce of rum with orange curaçao and dry vermouth.

History of the El Presidente

Havana, the capital of Cuba is still a great place to find pre-prohibition cocktails, and the legendary El Floridita is a must visit for bartenders everywhere. During prohibition, Cuba was a hub of drinking for Americans who couldn’t drink in their home country.

While Bacardi rum would have been a huge presence at the time, since its departure from Cuba the recipe has changed. The El Presidente needs a little more of a punchy rum, though I like to stick with Blanco. For this reason I’m using Pampero Blanco which is an Anejo with the colour removed by filtering. This process gives a much deeper flavour to the rum and gives it the character of an aged rum. Pampero Blanco also makes an amazing Daiquiri.

The El Presidente cocktail came to popularity as a drink of the upper classes in Havana. It’s certainly worth your time to explore, with the Vermouth adding complexity to the drink.

How to mix an El Presidente Cocktail

  • 2oz Pampero Rum
  • 1oz Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao
  • 1oz Gancia Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Dash Grenadine

Stir the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel (optional) and serve. The drink will need to be stirred well as the grenadine syrup can be difficult to combine.

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El Presidente Cocktail Recipe

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