Friday Cocktails: Corpse Reviver 2

Corpse Reviver, Corpse Reviver 2, gin cocktails, retro cocktails, gin drinks

Join me in celebrating the one year anniversary of the Friday cocktail! I know you and I have been imbibing in Friday cocktails for way more than one year, so let me qualify that statement. Join me in celebrating the one year anniversary of Barbara and Creative Culinary‘s hugely popular Friday cocktail series. Handcrafted cocktails are all the rage, so it’s no surprise that the Friday cocktails she (and others who have jumped on the bandwagon) features are the darling of Pinterest and warrants its own website and Twitter ID @FridayCocktail!

With 30 cocktails in the roundup, I thought it very appropriate to contribute none other than the Corpse Revival 2. Never heard of it? Don’t feel bad – neither did the guys in the liquor store when I purchased the Pastis for the final touch. Really? The mature one, i.e. my age or older, should have known… His words, ” Is that a Halloween drink?”. Umm, OK – duly noted – this cocktail would make a fabulous Halloween party drink… But as the evocative name implies, Corpse Reviver cocktails (research has uncovered various versions of #1, #2, and a #3) are so named because of their purported ability to bring the painfully hungover back to some semblance of life – the so-called “hair of the dog”.

Bartenders are often familiar with Corpse Revivers #1 and #2 from the Savoy and their famous cocktail book. #1 is  a brandy concoction laced with vermouth that would certainly jolt you into reality, but meant for more robust drinkers than myself – I cannot imagine drinking one of these when hungover. The Corpse Reviver #2 is concocted from gin, Lillet, Cointreau, lemon juice, and a dash of absinthe – the citrus notes and sweet, floral Lillet were much more to my liking. Wonderfully complex, delicately balanced, not too powerful, with a lingering, mysterious flavor, the Corpse Reviver #2 is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance, along with other retro cocktails.

This drink was a staple of bar manuals back in the 1930s, only to fall off the map in the last half of the 20th century. Then, thanks in large part to cocktail historian Ted Haigh (aka “Dr. Cocktail”), the Corpse Reviver #2 was rediscovered by a generation of 21st century cocktail geeks. (Source: Serious Eats)

Corpse Reviver, Corpse Reviver 2, gin cocktails, retro cocktails, gin drinks

Corpse Reviver #2


1 ounce gin ( I used Hendricks)

1 ounce Lillet

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce Cointreau

Dash of  absinthe or pastis (¼ teaspoon)


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Traditionally garnished with a maraschino cherry. I’m not a fan of the common variety maraschino cherries, I much prefer fresh fruit, the Thomcord Seedless Concord Grapes (pictured) imparted a lovely burst of sweet in your mouth, perfectly balancing the tartness of the cocktail.

*Kaiser Penguin offers a taste test of several versions of the Corpse Reviver 2. I used Meyer lemon in my first batch and found it to be a tad sweet. In round two I used regular lemon and I think the result was a better balance of tart to sweet. You be the judge – everyone’s palate is different.

I’m feeling very refreshed and, well, revived, after two of these! Cocktails are difficult to shoot 😉 CHEERS!

Corpse Reviver, Corpse Reviver 2, gin cocktails, retro cocktails, gin drinks

For method drinking I like to serve my retro cocktails along with my Art Deco barware for a kind of forbidden speakeasy vibe. The silver birdie with red cocktail forks is a little bauble I picked up in Paris at the Marché Serpette, Saint-Ouen antique market from Olwen Forest, reknowned for  bijoux de stars (jewelry of the stars) she has an enviable collection of vintage haute couture jewelry of iconic stars from Hollywood’s golden era as well as vintage couture and Art Deco accessories.

Check out the entire gamut of fabulous martinis and delicious cocktails at Creative Culinary. I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy, PLUS, there’s some fun prizes including: a big basket of foods from Star Fine Foods, 3 bottles of Frangelico to three lucky winners, Laguloule cheese knives, wine accoutrements, artisan olives and homemade mustard!

Corpse Reviver 2, Corpse Reviver, Halloween drinks, Halloween cocktails

Don’t forget the Corpse Reviver 2 would make a darn good Halloween cocktail!

12 Responses to “Friday Cocktails: Corpse Reviver 2”

  1. Jayne September 14 at 9:56 am #

    Such pretty pictures! This sounds strong, I believe it would be extremely reviving!

    • Priscilla September 14 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Jayne- it really doesn’t taste that strong, the lemon juice tempers it a bit, definitely refreshing – give it a try :)

  2. Barbara | Creative Culinary September 14 at 2:05 pm #

    Do I have to be hungover? After staying up WAY late getting the post done, I just know I could use some reviving!

    Thanks so much for participating Priscilla…love your choice!

    • Priscilla September 14 at 4:13 pm #

      I bet you could, Barb! And, no, it’s excellent as a refreshing drink under normal circumstances, too :)

  3. Lisa September 14 at 9:38 pm #

    I love the drink..I LOVE the name and I think I need one because I’m feeling rather ‘corpsey’ lately! Then again, one sip of this bomb and I’d probably be dead to the world – but that’s just my inability to hold alcohol lol

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes September 15 at 10:18 am #

    This is so pretty! I would love one too.

  5. Gina September 16 at 9:04 pm #

    Where have I been all year, I missed out on the cocktails. I guess moving twice was part of the problem. I thought you were doing a Halloween thing, duh, lol. I’ve never had one of these but if it would help revive my corpse, I’d be interested. I love your little birdie.

    • Priscilla September 17 at 9:38 pm #

      Hi Gina – You moved twice this year – you really need a Corpse Reviver! I think its a perfectly appropriate cocktail for Halloween, too :)

  6. Pat September 17 at 10:03 am #

    Which is it — Courvoisier or Cointreau? The directions use the term Courvoisier at first in the narrative (3rd paragraph) and then switch to Cointreau for the recipe. Courvoisier is a cognac, I believe, and Cointreau is more of an orange flavored liquor. I don’t believe they are interchangeable. I want to be sure to make the drink correctly, so which one is it? Maybe either one would taste good? Thanks for your reply.

    • Priscilla September 17 at 9:34 pm #

      Pat – Thanks for catching that! It is Cointreau and I corrected it in the narrative. Enjoy the cocktail :)

  7. pachecopatty September 19 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Priscilla! I think this is one of the prettiest cocktails that I’ve seen! I checked out the cocktail lineup and it is impressive- love all the shapes and colors of the cocktails in the photos;-) Great job bringing a unique cocktail to our attention;-)

  8. Terra September 25 at 6:06 pm #

    I am having so much learning all about drinks. I honestly think being a mixologist would be so fun! I love the name of the drink, and learned something new too:-) I need to try Lillet now, I have never had it:-) Looks fabulous, Hugs, Terra

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