1/4 Hercules. (3/4 oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato)
1/4 Cointreau. (3/4 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Bombay Gin)
Shake (stir - eje) well and strain into cocktail glass.
The ingredient Hercules continues to confound.
Cocktaildb's ingredient database (and the Jones' Bar Guide) suggest it is an Absinthe substitute. However, making these cocktails with any modern Absinthe substitutes, they turn out to be rather horribly balanced. They are usually OK, if I reduce the Absinthe substitute to a dash.
Sometimes when I visit the Cocktaildb home page (and I do quite often) one of the random pictures that shows up is what appears to be a label or advertisement in dutch for something that appears to be called "Hercules".
I don't know Dutch; but, the words like "Versterkende Bloedwijn" and "Kina Wijn" on the advertisement suggest it is for some sort of red wine based Quinquina.
Knowing that 3/4 oz Pastis, 3/4 oz Cointreau, and 1 1/2 oz Gin is going to be pretty undrinkable, I decided to experiment with a couple of the red wine Quinquinas I had around. The first try, with Byrrh Assemblage, was pretty lackluster.
Even though I suspect it is fairly unrelated to the intended Savoy "Cota Cocktail", the formula above, with the Barolo Chinato, was actually quite delicious. Similar to a slightly sweeter and orangier Negroni. Maybe call it the "Coda Cocktail"?
If anyone has any thoughts about a more appropriate Hercules substitution, please let me know.
Had sort of an "ah-hah!" moment today while rereading the earlier part of this thread looking for something unrelated.
The Ante Cocktail as it appears in the Savoy:
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1/4 Hercules (1/2 oz Henri Bardouin Pastis)
1/4 Cointreau (1/2 oz Cointreau)
1/2 Calvados or Apple Brandy (1 oz Laird's Apple Brandy)
The Ante Cocktail as it appears on Cocktail Chronicles and Drinkboy.com:
1 1/4 ounce Calvados
1/2 ounce Dubonnet rouge
1/4 ounce Cointreau
So then it appears that somewhere along the way Dubonnet Rouge became the common sub for Hercules as that product slid into obscurity (presumably originally done by people who had tasted both of them). Similar, I suppose, to how different brands of bitters were subbed in as the available number of them dwindled. Maybe not case closed, but I think this, along with the ad from CocktailDB, is enough good circumstantial evidence to recommend Dubonnet or other red quinquina as a Hercules substitute.