I have several favorite drinks. Some are favorites because they simply taste great, others because they also evoke pleasant memories. The Corpse Reviver #2 is one of those drinks for me. Fabulous flavor and some favorite memories. (And I also love a drink with equal portions because the more you imbibe, it is still easy to remember the recipe!)
“Corpse Revivers” are an old family of cocktails traditionally meant to serve as a refresher following a late night of heavy drinking. A concoction created to raise one from the dead and definitely to be enjoyed early morning as a great eye-opener. The hair of the dog of its time.
The Reviver family was a popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. At their peak there were several versions and variations. All guaranteed to give you a second wind to face the day. Following Prohibition, it was no longer popular to serve drinks “up” and the Reviver family lost momentum, slowly dying out.
Fortunately, Ted Haigh helped give some life to the Corpse Reviver #2 and for that we are so grateful.
The Corpse Reviver #2 may be one of those drinks that is near perfection. Delicate. Perfectly balanced. Clear and light. Just beautiful. It is one of those few drinks where you can easily identify each of the flavors, yet they blend and are so harmonious. It is important to remember that equal parts means exact equal parts. As delightful as this drink is when mixed correctly, it can get off track very quickly when one of the parts strays by even an 1/8 of an ounce! And with the dash of absinthe, keep in mind that less is more.
Harry Craddock, of the Savoy, advises that this drink be consumed “before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.” He goes on to warn that while one or two will revive and bring life to the dead, “four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”
Corpse Reviver #2
1 oz gin (we prefer Plymouth or Leopold)
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 to 3 drops (not dashes, drops!) absinthe (or Pernod, Ricard)
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, strain into a cocktail glass, and drop a stemless cherry in the glass.