Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Classic Cocktails: Reverse Perfect El Presidente

I've enjoyed the classic El Presidente before and was inspired to give it the reverse perfect treatment when I saw it come up on a list of blanc vermouth cocktails from Imbibe. While my original version was all dry vermouth and called for a larger slug of orange liqueur, this version was able to reduce it by adding in some sweeter blanc vermouth instead of just dry.
Reverse Perfect El Presidente
1 oz blanc vermouth
1 oz dry vermouth
0.5 rum (I split it between blanc agricole and a rounder molasses based rum)
1 tsp orange liqueur
1 tstp raspberry syrup
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The aromas are heady with vermouth inflected with raspberry, orange, and rum. The flavors open with vermouth and rum sweetness, shifts to big berry notes in the middle, then slides into pleasant orange bitterness at the back. The finish is bittersweet, fruity, and has a touch of grassy cane.

Dang, this is really, really good. There's a lot of complexity and no one ingredient overwhelms any other. Using flavorful rums (in this case Rhum J.M. 110 and Hamilton White Stache) does help to keep them from getting lost, so it's still clearly a rum-based drink. If you're not a fan of dry vermouth (looking at you, RumDood) I think you could use all blanc and keep it in balance by adding a dash of orange bitters. But whatever direction you choose to take it in, this continues to solidify my faith in the reverse perfect formula. This just keeps producing great drinks.

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