Corpse Revivers have a long tradition, as you can already guess from the name. Since the mid-1800s, Corpse Revivors have been on bar menus across the country. And the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is obviously not the first and surely not the last version of this drink. But what it is, is a delicious version of it.
The Corpse Reviver #2 widely gets accepted as the best-tasting drink amongst the Corpse Reviver drinks. It’s a perfectly balanced yet quite a boozy cocktail. And an evergreen that won’t go out of fashion anytime soon.
So let’s take a look at Corpse Reviver No. 2 and find out more about the Corpse Reviver cocktail family.
What is a Corpse Reviver No. 2?
And although one would assume that a drink to cure hangover should be low in ABV to non-alcoholic, the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is far from that. Not only does it contain Gin but also Orange Liqueur and Lillet (or dry Vermouth). To perfectly balance the drink, it also contains zesty fresh lemon juice and a dash of Absinthe.
The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is a classic sour cocktail based on Gin. A cocktail that’s so bold and boozy it could bring you back to life no matter in what poor shape you are. The drink became famous due to having been mentioned in Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. He recommended the cocktail “to be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed”.
It might not seem like it, but the Corpse Reviver #2 is well-balanced indeed. -A drink you can order anytime to get your groove on.
What are the other Corpse Reviver cocktails?
It all started in 1871. Back then, a recipe called Corpse Reviver got published in the “Gentleman’s Table Guide”. The drink consisted of one part Brandy, one part Maraschino liqueur, and two dashes of cocktail bitters. Other recipes, called Corpse Reviver or Criterion Reviver, were subsequently published in 1875 and 1903.
But it wasn’t until the Savoy Cocktail Book that the Corpse Reviver drinks gained popularity. And sure enough, this popular cocktail book did include both the Corpse Reviver No. 2 and the Corpse Reviver No.1. Whereas the first version, or Corpse Reviver No. 1, is closer to the initial recipe from 1871. It asked for two parts of Cognac, one part Calvados, and one part Italian Vermouth.
Also, for the Corpse Reviver #2, there’s an alternate recipe called the Corpse Reviver #2A. This slightly adjusted formula is from the famous Trader Vic, inventor of the Mai Tai cocktail. When Kina Lillet was no longer available, he replaced it with Swedish Punsch. The drink wasn’t named “2A” initially, but bars started to use this naming to distinguish between the classic and the modified recipe.
Other popular Corpse Reviver drinks are the “Savoy Corpse Reviver”, “Criterion Reviver”, and the “Cafe Royal Revivers”. All of them with very different recipes that might sometimes appear pretty much unrelated.
Ingredients of the cocktail
The original recipe asked for equal parts Gin, orange liqueur, Kina Lillet, and Lemon juice. A simple Dry Gin is the best type of Gin for this drink. For the Orange liqueur, as ever so often, I tend to use Cointreau. So far, so easy. Now, we’re getting to the tricky part.
Kina Lillet is no longer available, so bartenders started to replace it with Lillet Blanc. This choice is quite the obvious one, as Lillet themselves replaced Kina Lillet with Lillet Blanc. But there’s a problem with this: Lillet Blanc is significantly sweeter than the traditional Kina Lillet. That alone would not be a problem. But when used in a cocktail, the result will, of course, taste different than originally intended.
Therefore, if Lillet Blanc is too sweet for your palate, try and use Cocchi Americano instead. Cocchi Americano is a dry Italian Vermouth commonly used in many cocktail recipes and closer to the taste of Kina Lillet.
- 1 oz Dry Gin
- 1 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 2 dash Absinthe
- Rinse your cocktail glass with Absinthe, discard the excess, and put the glass aside.2 dash Absinthe
- Add the other ingredients into your cocktail shaker and shake until well-chilled.1 oz Dry Gin, 1 oz Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc, 1 oz Cointreau, 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
- Strain into your prepared glass.