Hercules Recipes

We last talked about Hercules while making the New Life Cocktail.  I’ve since made two iterations of the recipe.

Hercules #2

1 bottle Navarro Chardonnay
1/4 cup Yerba Mate
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp Gentian
2 tsp Cinchona Powder
1/2 tsp Wormwood flowers and leaves
4 whole cloves
Dried Peel from 1 Seville Orange
1 stick Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 tsp whole coriander seed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Apple Brandy

Method: Combine all ingredients other than brandy, bring to 140 degrees for 10 minutes. Strain off solids, cool, and add Brandy. Refrigerate.

This version received many, uh, ambivalent responses.  “I’ve never tasted anything like this before.” “Boy is that bitter.”  “That flavor really sticks with you!”  More constructive criticism was that a stronger spice component would be more enjoyable.  I also thought it would benefit from a richer wine base.

Hercules #3

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, crushed
8 Whole Cloves, crushed
1 tsp. Quinine Powder
1 tsp Gentian Root
1/4 Cup Yerba Mate
1 bag peppermint tea
Rind 2 Seville Oranges
Rind 1/2 Valencia Orange
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
750ml Quady Elektra Orange Muscat
1/4 cup Osocalis Brandy

METHOD: Combine spices, peel, yerba mate and wine. Heat to 140 degrees. Add mint and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Filter through chinois and add Brandy. Let stand for at least a day. Pour liquid off of sediment and through a coffee filter and bottle.

While there is no way I can judge whether I am getting closer to what Hercules might have tasted like, this is actually a fairly enjoyable beverage.  I’ll have it along for tonight’s Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic.  Stop by after 6 and ask for a taste.

“Old Pal” Cocktail

"Old Pal" Cocktail

“Old Pal” Cocktail

1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/3 French Vermouth. (1 oz Noilly Prat Original Formula Dry)
1/3 Campari. (1 oz Campari)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

This “Old Pal” comes from the 1922 edition of “Harry’s ABC of Cocktails”. As far as I can tell, it appears to be one of the earliest recipes in print, at least in English, calling for Campari.

It doesn’t quite make sense to me, however, with the French Vermouth and Rye. Really you just end up with very little balancing out the flavors of the Campari and Rye Whiskey.

By McElhone’s 1927 “Barflies and Cocktails“, the “Old Pal” had disappeared in favor of the Boulevardier*, aka the Bourbon Negroni. A much more sensible beverage, if you ask me.

*If you can’t find the Boulevardier initially, it’s no wonder. Check the “Cocktails Round Town” section at the back of the book. “Now is the time for all good Barflies to come to the aid of the party, since Erskinne Gwynne crashed in with his Boulevardier Cocktail: 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian Vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon Whisky.”

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.