El Presidente

For several generations, the drink was the specialty of El Chico in Greenwich Village, New York City. Here is the recipe from the 1949 Handbook for Hosts exactly the way that bartender George Stadleman made it at El Chico:

  • 1/2 ounce orange curacao
  • 3/4 ounce French vermouth
  • 1 dash grenadine

Preparation Stir ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. It should pour a delightfully clear, deep orange color. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Cultural context The El Presidente earned its acclaim in Havana during the 1920s when legions of alcohol-deprived Americans descended on the city by air and sea. It was named in honor of Mario García Menocal, president of Cuba from 1912 to 1920.