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.

8 thoughts on “Hercules Recipes

  1. I haven´t tried any of the recipes, but the first one really seems pretty bitter for what I know about the ingredients.
    The second one seems to be not as bitter than the first one, but since you didn´t say anything on that matter i´ll ask.
    How much difference did the smaller amount of gentian do? What about the cinchona?

  2. As far as I can tell, the big difference was leaving out the wormwood in version #3. It’s bitterness left a pretty nasty aftertaste in the late flavors.

    I’m thinking of bumping the gentian and cinchona up a bit in the next version, as neither of those are quite as painfully bitter and nasty as wormwood.

  3. Uhm.. i didn´t think that the 1/2 tsp of Wormwood would make that much difference.

    Let us know how the next batches are going to turn out!

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