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Happy Hour: El Presidente

Photograph by Daniel Montoya

This Cuban cocktail is believed to have become popular with alcohol-seeking Americans traveling to the island nation during Prohibition. After the ban was lifted, the rum-based drink found its footing stateside as well. It makes for an interesting historical recipe with a markedly different turn than most tropical drinks with the addition of vermouth, which lends a note of levity to an otherwise lighthearted rum concoction spiked with grenadine and curaçao.

This recipe hails from a handy cocktail recipe book we've discovered called The Essential Bar Book, which quite literally has everything you need to know about making great cocktails...and what goes in them. This sip is delicious, elegant and easy— a rare combination we suggest you definitely try tonight.

RECIPE: El Presidente

Yields 1 cocktail


  • 1½ ounces light rum
  • ¾ or 1½ ounce dry vermouth
  • ½ oz or 1 barspoon orange curaçao
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • Garnish: orange peel

Glassware: coupe glass


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice, and stir well.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.
Photograph by Daniel Montoya

Reprinted with permission from The Essential Bar Book, by Jennifer Fiedler, copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC.

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