El Presidente #4

elpres2

In some circles, the El Presidente is otherwise known as a Cuban Martini. It's also one of those cocktails with slippery origins; in my Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails, this is the fourth of four known El Presidente recipes printed. Variations include:

- El Presidente #1: Light rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine; a slim change-up on a classic daiquiri, replacing its simple syrup with pineapple juice. (Which, now that I think about it, is a great idea.)

- El Presidente #2: Light rum, dry vermouth, bitters. Difford's describes it as "bone dry" and "rather like a rum-based, old-school Martini."

- El Presidente #3: Light rum, dry vermouth, Cointreau, grenadine. A Trader Vic's recipe, of which Vic himself allegedly said, "This is the real recipe." (But I think he claims that about all of his concoctions? At least about the Mai Tai, which he said he flat-out invented.)

- El Presidente #4: Light rum, dry vermouth, Cointreau. "Dry but not bone dry, with balanced fruit from the triple sec and vermouth." Ding ding ding ding ding, we have a winner!

elpres1

Now that I've tasted this, I might actually propose a fifth version with a splash of club soda or even tonic. The former because of  the mojito-Cuban link, the latter because this El Presidente also manages to remind me of a nice, sweaty gin and tonic, which is actually one of my most favorite things to drink on the first hot day of summer.

But as-is is still a-plenty good. Crisp, light... dare I say, in its own weird way, Moscato d'Asti-like? (There I go with the fizzy thing again.)

Just try it.

elpres3

El Presidente #4

(Taken pretty much straight-up from Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails)

1 ½ ounces Bacardi Superior light rum

¾ ounce Noilly Prat dry vermouth

½ ounce Cointreau

Lemon, lime and/or orange twists, to garnish

Pour all liquid ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir briskly with a bar spoon for about a minute. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add your garnish.

Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

The Stanley Cocktail

This is gonna be one of those babbling brook o'consciousness posts I write from time to time, lending special credence to the word "babbling."

Sean and I made this cocktail a couple weeks ago -- before my Moms swooped into town for a week-long six-day (she'll correct me in an e-mail if I don't do it now) stay. Why don't I cocktail *more* when hosting family? God knows I need it badly-er during such times. Oh, right. I'm up the spout. Good thing that I don't forget that too often.

Anyway, my home office is also our guest room, so when we've got folks staying here I basically don't write, don't work, don't check e-mails, and generally grow more and more discomboobulated and unmoored from real life. Which is probably why I sound the way I sound right now. Me no typie so good when brain cloudy with word farts what is thesaurus?

So, the Stanley! Why did we make the Stanley? We made the Stanley because we had lemon juice about to turn in our fridge and because after many sadistic false starts, Mother Nature has finally gotten her big, compostable ass into gear up here and delivered a proper Montreal spring. (I am the last person who should be making fun of other women's fat asses at this point in my life/pregnancy, but she is not a real person so she can suck it.) The Stanley, rather audaciously, combines gin and rum, two liquors that a) you rarely see mixed, yet b) speak to the same joyous thermometer creep that ought to be celebrated with a proper cocktail, preferably including them. Grenadine and lemon juice take away from that audacity, make it more like the Banality of Cherry Coke than the Audacity of Hope (the Audacity of Hooch?) but we decided to give the Stanley a go all the same.

We got the Stanley from our trusty-dusty Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide. Sometimes this book -- as much as I insist upon treating it with reverence, for it is really old and its starchy pages smell wonderfully like pickled dust -- is like a big clusterwuh? Like when it gives you a girly-ass drink called the Stanley. Who invented this shit, or at least named it that? It is very pretty, though. In fact, I bet if I just keep looking at those pics above my head fog will lift before long...

Every time I say "the Stanley" in my head, I picture two things in quick succession. One, Mrs. Roper. Two, Pretzel Day.

I like Pretzel Day...

The Stanley Cocktail

(as per the Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide)

1 ounce Bombay Dry Gin

1 ounce Bacardi

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 ounce grenadine

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled cocktail or coupe glass.

Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

The Orange Restorative

A long time back, I bought some Bacardi Gold while attempting to fashion a dark-rum cocktail, a purchase I immediately regretted because, my goodness, is Bacardi Gold god-awful.

Then not so long ago, I made some orange-infused gin, just because, and decided that while I was at it, I may as well see if I could render the Bacardi Gold palatable by likewise infusing a near-fifth of it with the rind of one rather large-ish orange.

The rum had to be infused far longer than the gin, about a full month, but miraculously, what we got out of it was a pleasant, not-harsh sipper with a citrusy bouquet. We spent the weekend playing with it, trying to gussy it up with things like bitters and Campari, but so far we haven't found a cocktail recipe we like as much as drinking it straight.

There is another reason why I've chosen to call it the Orange Restorative, besides the fact that orange peels restored my shitty Bacardi. The Syracuse Orangemen were upset in the second round of the tournament last night, and my husband, who went to Syracuse, needed some booze to placate his nerves.

The Orange Restorative

2 ounces orange-infused Bacardi Gold

1 big-ass ice cube

Combine in highball glass. Tell yourself there's always next year.

Tasting Notes:

We took what was almost an entire fifth of Bacardi Gold, poured it into a Mason Jar, plopped in the peel from one orange that was larger than my mannish-hand fish, and put the jar in the back of a dark closet. My general rule of thumb for when you know an infusion is done -- when what you smell isn't alcohol but the scent of the infusing agent -- held true here; it took us about a month to achieve that. Make sure you remove the orange rinds once you have done the same. Store as you would any other liquor.

A lot of folks have asked us how we make our big-ass ice cubes. I went to The Container Store about 18 months ago and bought a notions organizer made of hard, clear plastic, which is what the folks at Rye, this great little bar/restaurant in Brooklyn, told me was how they made their big-ass ice cubes. However, now that the big-ass ice-cube craze has caught on, I would recommend getting Tovolo king cube molds, which are made out of bendable silicone. You don't want to know what we have to go through to coax big-ass ice cubes out of a rigid plastic mold. It's enough to make you need an Orange Restorative.

1 Comment
Print Friendly and PDF