Celebrate National Rum Day with an El Presidente Cocktail

Rum is not my favorite spirit, but I have come to appreciate its variety and its varied qualities. And if it’s a national spirit day, well, I’m celebrating! August 16 is National Rum Day, so why not usher it in with a great lunchtime cocktail: the El Presidente?

Most versions of the El President have a lot of curacao, but I followed the advice of RumDood and Imbibe magazine for this one, using the proportions set out by Imbibe. They reduce the curacao to keep it from taking over. It’s much better than the traditional version, which I had tried several years ago and gave up on. They also increase the amount of vermouth, which works wonders.

To make one like this, combine with cracked ice:

  • 1 1/2 oz rum (some people like white, some like aged; I use Railean white rum, a local Texas rum)
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth (I use Dolin)
  • 1 barspoon curacao
  • 1/2 barspoon grenadine (I know I should make my own, but I still use the red syrup, so I use just a couple dashes, less than a 1/2 barspoon)

strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a homemade cherry.

I fear I still used too much of my red syrup, for the grenadine almost took over. But this drink is still really bright and refreshing. Rum and dry vermouth go surprisingly well together. I never realized that this combo would work so well, even in equal proportions. The curacao and grenadine give it the right amount of sweetness, so we end up with a cocktail that is pretty well balanced and perfect for an afternoon of celebrating national rum day. Forget the fact that it’s Tuesday and have a cocktail at lunch.

Your boss will never know.

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