The Corpse Revival cocktail. 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. One of them asked, ” 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 are so named because of their alleged ability to bring the painfully hungover back to some semblance of life – the so-called “hair of the dog”.
History of the Corpse Reviver Cocktail
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 #2 Cocktail Recipe
- 1 ounce Gin preferably Hendricks
- 1 ounce Lillet
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce Cointreau
- 1/4 teaspoon Absinthe or Pastis
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.
If you're like me and not a fan of the common variety maraschino cherries, substitute Amarena or Luxardo cherries or fresh fruit like the Thomcord Seedless Concord Grapes (pictured) which give 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! CHEERS!
I like to serve retro cocktails along with the Art Deco barware I’ve collected for a kind of forbidden speakeasy vibe—method drinking, if you will. 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, renowned 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.
Edited 10/22/20. The cocktail explosion has been going on for years and while we’re quarantining in 2020 it’s even more important to have an arsenal of easy to make cocktails to sharpen your bartending skills at home. This cocktail was created to celebrate the one year anniversary of my blogger friend Barbara’s hugely popular Friday cocktail series. Check out the entire gamut of fabulous martinis and delicious hand crafted cocktails at Creative Culinary. I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.
The Corpse Reviver 2 makes a darn good Halloween cocktail!
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