El Presidente

How to Make
“El Presidente” dark rum cocktail

Which rum is best for “El Presidente” cocktail?

The ideal dark rum to use to mix the El Presidente cocktail should be more on the amber or gold side of the spectrum, like the Dos Maderas 5+3, which spends five years aging in the Caribbean and three years finishing in VOS Palo Cortado Sherry casks in Jerez.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail-mobile

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple. 

Ingredients to make "El Presidente" - Rum cocktail

1.5 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

1.5 oz. Blanc Vermouth (like Comoz or Dolin Blanc)
.25 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao (or Cointreau)
Barspoon of Pomegranate Grenadine

"El Presidente" dark rum cocktail Recipe - Step by step how to prepare a rum cocktail

1.

Heat up a cup of pomegranate juice and add 1 cup of sugar. Stir until fully integrated and let cool.

2.

Chill a Coupe glass.

3.

Add all ingredients to your Mixing Glass

4.

Fill with cracked ice

5.

Stir with a long barspoon for 10 seconds

6.

Strain into your chilled glass.

7.

Garnish with an orange peel, oils expressed over your drink at a 45 degree angle

8.

Optional garnish: cut your peel extra long, roll into a rosette and use a cocktail pick to add a preserved Luxardo cherry.

Origins of "El Presidente" cocktail

The El Presidente cocktail history is tied to a very specific Cuban citizen, President Mario García Menocal, who ran the country from 1913 to 1921. Menocal had been educated in the States and was a hero in the war against Spain. The cocktail, naturally, was born out of Cuban rum and many bartenders prefer to use a Gold Rum as the base. Mixing with a spirit that has maturity and finesse is certainly an excellent idea for a drink that had been deemed the “aristocrat of cocktails” by historic society correspondent of the day and cocktail documentarist, Basil Woon. In 1928, Woon wrote “When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba,” capturing a portrait of the vibe of Havana of the time period. Imagine a lively scene of cocktail culture and energy derived from so many expats streaming into the nearest country where drinking alcohol was still legal.

First documented in 1919 in the “New York Evening Telegram” and later recorded in 1924 via the “Manuel del Cantinero” by León Pujol and Oscar Muñiz, the cocktail’s exact inventor and date of creation hasn’t truly been nailed down. Eric Felten notes in his 2007 “How’s Your Drink” book that the most likely claim to origin was at the Vista Alegre Club in Santiago, Cuba. The Vista Alegre was an Americanized cocktail club that catered to the influx of well-to-do Americans escaping Prohibition in the early 1910’s and 1920’s. The other possible candidate is the Sevilla Hotel in Havana, where well known international professional, Eddie Woelke helmed the bar in the 1920’s.

Tips for "El Presidente" Cocktail

Tip 1: Best advice for making the El Presidente is to find Blanc Vermouth and not Dry Vermouth, but also Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao or Cointreau and to make your own pomegranate based grenadine.

Tip 2: Always properly seal and refrigerate your vermouth after opening or it will go bad.

Tip 3: The best “El Presidente” cocktail features an elegant garnish like a long orange peel rolled into a rose or even a cocktail flower. Never use artificial maraschino cherries and always use Luxardo or Parisienne preserved cherries.

Tips for "El Presidente" Cocktail​

Tip 1: Best advice for making the El Presidente is to find Blanc Vermouth and not Dry Vermouth, but also Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao or Cointreau and to make your own pomegranate based grenadine. 

Tip 2: Always properly seal and refrigerate your vermouth after opening or it will go bad.
Tip 3: The best “El Presidente” cocktail features an elegant garnish like a long orange peel rolled into a rose or even a cocktail flower. Never use artificial maraschino cherries and always use Luxardo or Parisienne preserved cherries.

"El Presidente" cocktail Variations and types

Contemporary bartenders have long fiddled with the El Presidente cocktail, often finding it too sweet for their tastes. Many variations tend to use Dry Vermouth although as mentioned above, this alters the texture and balance of the original.
In Stanley Clisby-Arthur’s 1937 “Famous New Orleans Drinks & How to Mix Them,” he lists 3 Presidente versions on page 62. This one subs in Dry Vermouth and adds lemon juice

Minnesota Bartender, Adam Gorski adapts the original into an entirely new cocktail subbing in the rum for Apple Brandy, the vermouth for Amontillado Sherry and the grenadine for Pear Liqueur.

FAQ

The best rum outside of Cuban Rum, is an amber or gold rum, one with a bit more character and texture than a white rum. For example: Dos Maderas 5+3.

Without a doubt, the best vermouth is a Chambery Vermouth, as is called for in the 1924 recipe from “Manuel del Cantinero” but also later mentioned in the 1935 “Bar La Florida Cocktails” guide. Chambery is known as the birthplace for the style of Blanc Vermouth, which has more texture and sweet character than Dry Vermouth but isn’t as heavy as Sweet or Rouge Vermouths. C. Comoz Blanc or Dolin Blanc are ideal but if you cannot find them, Cinzano Bianco or Cocchi Americano will also sub in well.

The El Presidente cocktail was invented sometime in or before 1919.

The El Presidente cocktail was born in Cuba, likely either the Sevilla Hotel in Havana or the Alegre Vista Club in Santiago.

Cocktails with Dos Maderas 5+3

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