Corpse Reviver #2

October 7th, 2009  |  Published in absinthe, gin, halloween, liqueur, recipes, seasonal  |  12 Comments

Corpse Reviver #2We 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.)

Corpse Reviver #2

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  1. Scott says:

    October 9th, 2009at 12:59 pm(#)

    Thanks for this. We were looking for a new ‘serious’ cocktail this Friday night and the Corpse Reviver #2 was a real hit with the gang. I too am not sure what makes the cherry at the bottom of the slightly milky liquid ‘spooky’, but it has the desired effect nonetheless.

  2. Newmicon says:

    October 10th, 2009at 8:51 am(#)

    Having some people over tonight, might have to try this.

  3. 929 gallons of moonshine confiscated in North Carolina + six other links - The Jolly Inebriate says:

    October 10th, 2009at 10:06 am(#)

    [...] shares the recipe for the Corpse Reviver #2 just in time for Halloween. I’m no fan of hair of the dog but this could work for [...]

  4. Marleigh says:

    October 13th, 2009at 10:36 am(#)

    Scott—Glad you liked it! It’s one of my all-time favorites, so I’m always happy to turn others onto it. And, well, the name is just awesome too.

    Newmicon—I hope you gave it a try, but if not you should definitely give it a go next time.

  5. Dr. Bamboo says:

    October 14th, 2009at 9:40 am(#)

    The CR2 is also one of my all-time faves…one of the very first vintage recipes I tried where I went, “Oh, THAT’S what a great old cocktail tastes like.”

  6. Eric Angle says:

    October 29th, 2009at 8:35 am(#)

    Is it reasonable to make this drink without absinthe, or is it essential?

  7. Marleigh says:

    October 29th, 2009at 9:07 am(#)

    You could do it without absinthe but the anise ties the drink together. If you don’t care for the licorice flavor, don’t worry—you can hardly taste it—or you can sub Pernod, Herbsaint or Ricard liqueurs.

  8. Eric Angle says:

    October 29th, 2009at 9:28 am(#)

    I actually have no experience with absinthe, so I not only don’t know what it tastes like, but also don’t have any on hand (I plan to pick some up soon…any recommendations?). I’ve been wanting to try this drink recently, so maybe now’s the time to get some.

  9. Marleigh says:

    October 29th, 2009at 9:44 am(#)

    Well Pernod is an inexpensive way to get a little taste of the absinthe flavor profile. However if you want the real thing (which I happen to love), you should start with Kübler or Mansinthe, which are Swiss-style and milder than the French or Czech styles. If you wind up liking the flavor and want a heartier absinthe, I recommend Vieux Carré (American, in the French style), Obsello (Spanish), Marteau (French) or, if you are feeling a little frisky in your spending, Vieux Pontarlier (French) or Jade (French).

  10. Eric Angle says:

    October 29th, 2009at 11:01 am(#)

    Thanks for the recommendations and quick responses in general. Do you use a pour spout to allow you to pour small amounts at a time?

  11. Marleigh says:

    October 29th, 2009at 11:43 am(#)

    No, I find pour spouts to be kind of a pain to keep clean/dust free given the large number of bottles we have. I usually pour some into a jigger and then use that to dole out a small amount, or if one drop is called for I will use a very small measuring spoon to pull a teeny bit out of the jigger.

  12. This Classic Cocktail is a Perfect Hangover Remedy! Corpse Reviver 2 Drink Recipe Here | KegWorks says:

    March 16th, 2010at 10:15 am(#)

    [...] Quick, jot down this recipe. You’ll probably need it Thursday morning, after partying on St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. This cocktail is made to help cure your hangover and make you feel like you’re among the living once again. It’s a classic, passed to me by @tommarks on Twitter just today. Knowing that many of you will be out slamming Irish Car Bombs, Guinness and Jameson, I just had to get the recipe on the blog. Image courtesy of Sloshed! [...]

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