El Presidente

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The El Presidente Cocktail with an orange peel garnish

El Presidente is a classic cocktail that I had never heard about until one of my friends asked if I could make it for him. I tend to get asked that quite a bit seeing as my home bar has more bottles than most. El Presidente has a storied history and disputed origins (like most classic cocktails) but just like the Hemingway Daiquiri: It is Cuban and it is strong.

The original recipe is 2:1:1 of Rum, Curacao, and Blanc Vermouth plus a dash of grenadine. While I’m sure this version is very good, I decided to get a bit creative with this one and make my own twist of the ‘El Presidente’ cocktail. My inspiration? A bottle of Blood Orange Cointreau I picked up on my last market trip. Now, I don’t know if I should have changed the name or not, if you have an idea let me know in the comments, but as of now I’m just calling it El Presidente.

How To Make The El Presidente Cocktail

Lillet has to be one of my favorite cocktail ingredients. If you are apprehensive about using it instead of Blanc Vermouth I really suggest you give it a shot.


50 ml Gold Rum. The original recipe does not specify which type of rum is used, so I chose Havana Club Anejo Especial.

25 ml Blood Orange Cointreau. So the original recipe calls for curacao, and technically Cointreau is a Triple Sec. However, I feel they are close enough that changing one for the other, while altering the drink taste, isn’t enough to warrant a name change.

25 ml Lillet Blanc. Again, the original recipe calls for Blanc Vermouth so this is a more drastic change than using triple sec in place of curacao. I do find Lillet Blanc to be a great replacement for vermouth in many different drinks, and as a matter of fact I quite prefer it in things like a White Negroni and my Amarena Martini.

1/3 tsp Pomegranate Molasses. I like to think of it as extra authentic grenadine.


Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with a few ice cubes. Stir everything together and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube or ball. Squeeze an orange peel over the drink and drop it in. Enjoy my take on the classic El Presidente cocktail.

An Upgraded variation on the El Presidente

El Presidente

My version of the El Presidente cocktail makes some slight changes to the recipe, but keeps true enough to retain the name (I hope).
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine American, Cuban
Servings 1 drink


  • mixing glass


  • 50 ml Gold Rum original does not specify which rum so I just chose gold since I like it for cocktails.
  • 25 ml Blood Orange Cointreau Original specifies Curacao but I like this change I made.
  • 25 ml Lillet Blanc Original specifies Blanc Vermouth, but I quite like using Lillet Blanc in quite a few blanc vermouth drinks.
  • 1/3 tsp Pomegranate Molasses Original says grenadine, but isn't pomegranate molasses just really authentic grenadine.


  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with a few ice cubes. Stir everything together then strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube/ball. Squeeze over an orange peel and drop it in. Enjoy.
Keyword Cocktail, El Presidente, The President Cocktail, Variation

El Presidente (Upgraded)?

An Upgraded variation on the El Presidente
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