El Presidente (American) – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

1 part French Vermouth 

1 part Lemon Juice 

5 parts Gold Label Rum 

1 dash Grenadine and 

1 dash Curacao to each drink 

Shake with cracked ice and decorate same as the Cuban President. The manufacturers of Havana Club, one of the finest of Cuban rums, recommend the use of sweet vermouth instead of dry, thereby making the drink a Rum Manhattan. The recipe suggested by them, however, is much too sweet.

This results in a quite different drink to the Cuban El Presidente (12-06-2018), there’s more sweetness from the curacao, less aromatic qualities due to the reduced vermouth, and the citrus pushes the whole drink more towards a daiquiri style drink. This version is more approachable for someone who hasn’t tried either before, whereas the Cuban version is more rewarding to a rum drinker, and I think a version that has more space to play around with different vermouths and rums and notice the impact this has on the overall drink.

Embury’s right as well, for some reason rum and sweet vermouth just never seem to work that well together, and I’ve tried this a lot. There’s just too much sweetness in both the rum and sweet vermouth and it ends up way too sweet, I imagine this would work well with a ‘bianco’ style, or maybe even a ‘perfect’ mix of the two standard vermouth’s.