el presidente recipe: how to make a presidente cocktail

El Presidente or The President is a refreshing cocktail martini with a lot of flavor. Unlike many of the other summer cocktails, it does not contain any non-alcoholic ingredients such as juice or soda, which makes it much more potent.

The drink originated in the 1920s in Cuba, and is commonly attributed to the Vista Alegra in the city of Havana. El Presidente is also said to be named after a President of Cuba but that is pretty much debatable. Although I suppose from the time frame of the recipe, we can assume that it is dedicated to either Mario Menochal or Alfredo Alfonso.

The recipe is said to have first appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Carddock in the 1930s. This particular recipe has been adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book as well as The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale Degroff.


  • 2 shots of White Rum
  • 1 shot of the Dry Vermouth
  • 1 shot of the Orange Curacao
  • 2 or 3 dashes of Grenadine
  • Orange peel to garnish (optional)


  1. Add ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 2 shots of White Rum into the shaker
  3. Add 1 shot of the French Dry Vermouth into the shaker
  4. Add 1 shot of the Orange Curacao into the shaker
  5. Add 2 or 3 dashes of the Grenadine
  6. Shake well to mix the ingredients
  7. Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass
El Presidente Cocktail


  • The drink can be garnish either with an orange peel or a cherry. Sometimes it is also served with out any garnish.
  • Many complain that the drink is overly sweet. Many variations of the recipe call for lesser quantities of Orange Curacao and Grenadine. If you think the drink is too sweet for your taste, then use half shot of curacao instead of one.
  • From a taste perspective, El Presidente cocktail can be seen as a summer cocktail, but with out the juices that is found in most summer drinks.
  • Use any Cuban White Rum you can get, if you can.
  • Use real Grenadine for the best taste