How To Make A Corpse Reviver
We’ve all woken up with the throbbing headache and queasy stomach that means we had one–or six–too many the night before, and that’s exactly when knowing how to make a Corpse Reviver comes in handy. Not just a single drink, this morning after remedy was once so popular, it evolved into a whole family of cocktails. Mentioned as early as 1867 in an article about the Paris Exposition by George Augustus Sala, Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” originally published in 1930, included two recipes that are still widely in use. Whichever Corpse Reviver you choose to make, this “hair of the dog” works just as well at 11 a.m. as it does 11 p.m. Just take it easy, or this deadly little cocktail may not leave you feeling so revived after all!
To make a Corpse Reviver, you’ll need:
- 1 ½ ounce brandy or Cognac (for recipe 1)
- ¾ ounce apple brandy or Calvados (for recipe 1)
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth (for recipe 1)
- 1 ounce gin (for recipe 2)
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau (for recipe 2)
- 1/2 ounce Lillet Blonde (for recipe 2)
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice (for recipe 2)
- Dash of Absente or Absinthe (for recipe 2) (optional)
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail glass
- A stirrer (for recipe 1)
- 1 cup ice
- Maraschino cherry (optional)
- Before you make a Corpse Reviver, decide which recipe to use. Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” dubbed the two recipes that have survived as #1 and #2, and that’s how bartenders commonly refer to them today. While the first recipe is considered less popular than the second, both recipes make powerful, balanced cocktails. Choose the one that best suits your mood–or the one that sounds least nauseating when you have to prepare it.
- To make a Corpse Reviver #1, chill a cocktail glass. Combine 1 ½ ounces of brandy, ¾ ounce of apple brandy, and 3/4 ounce of sweet vermouth in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup of ice, stir the Corpse Reviver with a stirrer for at least 30 seconds. When it’s cold, strain it into the cocktail glass and serve it immediately.
- To make Corpse Reviver that’s a bit more potent, make a Corpse Reviver #2. In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of gin, 1/2 ounce of Cointreau, ½ ounce of Lillet Blanc, ¾ ounce lemon juice, a dash of absinthe (if you have it on hand), and 1 cup of ice. Place the lid on the shaker and vigorously shake the mixture for about 30 seconds, until it is well chilled. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass and garnish it with a maraschino cherry. Serve your Corpse Reviver cold.
- Feel free to experiment to make your own Corpse Reviver. This family of drinks used to include innumerable variations that didn’t stand the test of time. Since any hard and fast rules also died out, make your own Corpse Reviver using any concoction of liquors or liqueurs that make you feel a little more alive the morning after.