Remixed/Remastered: The Corpse Reviver No2

Ask any veteran bartender and they’ll tell you how important it is to know your classic cocktails. Having a working knowledge of the cocktail cannon is an invaluable asset. One that will save you time looking up recipes, impress and appease adventurous or demanding bar patrons, and serve as a springboard for crafting your own modern classics. In this issue we take a look at the Corpse Reviver no2 and show you how you can make your own variations.

The Original Hair of the Dog

Historically made with Gin, Orange Curacao, Lillet, Lemon and Absinthe, this cocktail is bright, lively and stimulating. It’s no wonder Corpse Revivers came to popularity in the late 19th century as a means to mediate the effects of a long night on the town. The drink first appears in print in “The Gentleman’s Table Guide” by E. Ricket and C. Thomas (1871) where they suggest filling a wineglass half with brandy, half with Maraschino and adding two dashes of Boker’s bitters.

Many variations exist of this “hair of the dog” cocktail, but it wasn’t until Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail book, published in 1930, that we see recipes for the two iterations most commonly ordered today. Harry Craddock was the head bartender at The American Bar located in The Savoy Hotel in central London, and his book featured recipes from the bar, many of them his own creations including the somewhat ostentatiously named Corpse Revivers no1 and no2.

Corpse Reviver no1 is a blend of Cognac, Calvados and Italian Vermouth “to be taken before 11am, or whenever steam or energy is needed.” When properly prepared it’s a fine cocktail albeit a bit strong first thing in the morning. The significantly more refreshing Corpse Reviver no2, with its fresh citrus and botanical spirits, steals the show and is noted as being the most widely consumed off all of the Corpse Revivers. Today that is still the case!

Updating a Classic

So how do we elevate this classic cocktail and bring it into the 21st century? First we start by using thoughtfully sourced quality ingredients. Choose your favorite botanically forward craft gin. Chicago’s Letherbee is a great option. Instead of a mass produced and artificially flavored Orange Curacao, reach for something more adventurous and intriguing like Apologue’s Celery Root Liqueur. Apologue Celery Root Liqueur is made with all natural dried herbs and spices like fennel, anise and tarragon that complement both the botanicals in the Gin and the Absinthe.

Always use fresh citrus juice and a quality fortified wine. We recommend Cocchi Americano. Chill a coupe glass, grab a jigger and let’s begin! Voila! A refreshing and stimulating reviver for the modern age that can be enjoyed anytime of day! - RH

Corpse Reviver Recipe