Hercules stands mighty, proud, strong, noble and full of grapefruit vodka.
It is both what the Garden of the Gods’ Hercules is, and what Greek Hercules did: Punch.
Though your efforts to clean the Augean stables are going to be a lot more sloppy with this Hercules.
Caesars Palace Director of Beverage Eddie Perales put together an entire punch program, complete with elaborate ice bowl service, after being challenged to put his stamp on pool service.
“When guests see big carts rolling up to them and one’s got a giant ice bowl and all this cool stuff, it’s fun to see the reaction when you’re making it in front of them. We start off with a 3-D menu first. That was the whole premise,” Perales said.”I was kind of challenged, you’ve got a week to come up with a concept, you’ve got the cabanas, what are you going to do?”
What he did was come up with five elaborate punches, including the Spartacus (cantaloupe-based), the Gladiator (blood orange) and Helios (cucumber). They’re all blends that put the juicer through its paces — just like the Hercules, which is fresh watermelon, citrus blend, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, fresh mint, cantaloupe, watermelon and wild berry Monin syrups and Belvedere pink grapefruit. If the fresh berries weren’t enough garnish, Perales tops it all off with edible flowers.
Perales neatly circumvents the problems that crop up when you try to mix watermelon juice — it’s usually too thin to really work well in cocktails — by beefing it up with citrus and berries. The mint adds a subtle, cool note to the whole thing. It’s light, extremely drinkable and fits like a glove poolside (and at $40 a pitcher, very reasonable after you pour out six to eight drinks). Although we always picture Hercules as more of a wine, mead and steroids kind of guy.