El Presidente

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Indecisiveness isn't a characteristic limited to humans. Consider the weather: we're fresh out of spring's starting gate (those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), but here in Seattle, a place of moderate maritime climes if ever there was one, bits of slushy snow were clinging to the blossoming daffodils late last night.

When the weather (or your palate) is being indecisive, it's best for your cocktails to play along. That's where the El Presidente comes in: made with light rum, it has a bright, summery appeal; but with the gravitas brought to the drink by dry vermouth and orange curacao, the flavor is ready to pull on a sweater against the evening's chill.

In 1949, Esquire's Handbook for Hosts addressed the drink this way: "The vanguard of Manhattan cognoscenti has discovered what regulars of El Chico in the Village have known for many a moon: the El Presidente cocktail is elixir for jaded gullets." No matter if it's you or the weather that's being indecisive, the El Presidente is an excellent resource for putting you back on an even keel.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

El Presidente

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 1 cocktail
Special equipment:Mixing glass


  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 3/4 ounce dry vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce orange curacao
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • Garnish: orange twist


  1. 1

    Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir briskly for 30 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of orange peel over the drink and use as garnish.

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