We begin our series of Halloween cocktails with the drink that brought the blog back from near-death—the Corpse Reviver. When I first became interested in cocktails, I had no idea what I was doing. Not knowing who to trust, I was willing to try any recipe that sounded halfway decent based on my very limited experience, with the unsurprising result that a lot of the resulting cocktails were sub-par. And then came my fateful encounter with Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails. Doors and windows were thrown open, light shon in and, wouldn’t you know it, the Corpse Reviver #2 was for me, as it was for Dr. Cocktail before me, the drink that erased the memory of all those sadly bland soda-topped Negronis. This—finally, THIS—is what cocktails are about. To quote the good Doctor:
To my amazement, it was the finest thing to ever pass my palate. I could taste every ingredient. It was subtle, it was fresh, it was complex, and it was delicious. My research and acquisitions continued with renewed vigor.
As it was with him, so it was with little old me; it’s only fitting that I go back to the beginning to kick off this holiday theme. This recipe, being number two, began as a type of drink rather than a specific recipe. Taken in the morning after a particularly rough night, these were meant to revivify the bodies of those suffering from overindulgence. Having hit an age where I don’t bounce back from hangovers like I used to, this may be just the thing for the morning after All Hallows Eve this year.
1 oz gin
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz lemon juice
1-3 drops absinthe or pastis
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish by dropping in a stemless cherry.
Though perhaps not the spookiest in appearance, the Corpse Reviver is an elegant, delightful cocktail to serve. It is only lightly sweet, with a lovely aromatic quality and a bright, sunny flavor despite it’s complex flavor profile. The deep red cherry at the bottom adds a bit of mystery to the otherwise plain appearance, and I find that people generally prefer garnishes that they can eat.
For an added bonus, if you’re planning a party this cocktail can easily be batched in advance; all you have to do is measure and shake each cocktail as needed during the evening. (Please note that because it contains fresh lemon juice you should not prepare the mix more than four hours in advance, and you should keep the finished mix in the fridge until you need it.)