After we went to Cuba, we brought home several goodies — and not knowing too much about the Cuban rum landscape, we picked more or less blindly.
One bottle we ended up with was Legendario Elixir de Cuba, which upon further inspection (and a Google search revealing the Fat Rum Pirate’s explanation) isn’t rum at all, but a sugary liqueur. That explains its bland and saccharine tasting notes on its own.
Stirred into a Palmetto, however, it becomes something quite palatable.
The Palmetto is found in the Savoy Cocktail Book, and originally called for 1/2 each rum and vermouth, along a few dashes of orange bitters. Savoy Stomp interprets this as an ounce of rum and vermouth, although I tend to agree with most other recipes online and increase the proportions to 1 1/2 ounce, which seems to balance better with the 2 dashes of orange bitters.
Legendario Elixir de Cuba may not be notable on its own, but mellowed out with some vermouth and orange bitters it becomes quite a nice after-dinner drink. I tested this recipe wih a few different sweet vermouths and found my favorite vermouth to be Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. Carpano Antica Formula is too rich, although perhaps with a quality rum it would make a nice cocktail. Cinzano, my typical go-to, is a bit too brash in this case. With the brown sugary Legendario, the softer caramel finish of the Cocchi won out.
Now that the political tides have once again turned against Americans visiting Cuba, you may need to substitute another rum in this recipe. Most dark rums available in the U.S. will do the trick (and may even be an improvement).
1 1/2 oz dark rum
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters