Corpse Reviver #2.
Corpse Revivers were, once upon a time, a range of quite varied drinks that were hailed as hangover cures. Hence the name. As such most were pretty foul but one of them was really quite delicious – you guessed it – the one known as the number (or #) 2. While I’ve never tested it for its original purpose I can confidently report that this is a wonderfully crisp, beautifully balanced cocktail for more general use and one that always goes down well with guests. A close relative to the Aviation, the Corpse Reviver #2 is even simpler to put together thanks to its simple equal parts formula. It is also one of the few non-Martini drinks I would choose to serve in a Martini glass (along with the Aviation) because of the rather fetching effect gained from the cloudy yellow spirit with a glowing red cherry shining out from the base of the glass like a beacon through the fog. Preparation of the CR#2 starts off with an absinthe rinse. I always keep a spray bottle of absinthe handy for this as it’s just as effective as any other method as well as being quicker and less wasteful. Just spray a quick squirt evenly into a well chilled glass instead of the usual absinthe and ice swirling shenanigans. After that we shake hard equal quantities of fresh lemon juice, Cointreau, gin and Lillet Blanc and strain into the chilled and absinthey glass. Drop the cherry in last and it will gently roll into place and the base of the glass, there to wait as a little reward for the imbiber.
It is perhaps ironic that the favourite drink of Hannibal Lecter should be a key ingredient in the Corpse Reviver but don’t let that put you off. Lillet Blanc (Lee-Lay Blonk) is a lovely straw-coloured aperitif that works very well in cocktails and is especially civilised on a hot summers day with just some ice and a slice of fruit. A vermouth-like fortified wine from Bordeaux with hints of citrus, Lillet used to be tricky to come by but these days it seems to be fairly widely available. I highly recommend keeping a bottle in the fridge over the summer months for those impromptu picnics and barbecues. And Corpse Revivers.
Word is that your CR#2 will be even better if you can replace your Lillet Blanc with some Cocchi Americano which is much closer to the Kina Lillet that would originally have been used (Kina was reformulated into the milder Lillet Blanc in The Dark Ages). I can’t confirm that just yet as I’m still trying to track down a bottle of Cocchi. Also worth seeking out is Lillet Blanc Réserve but it’s far too good for mixing with.
Corpse Reviver #2.
1oz dry gin of choice
1oz Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano
1oz fresh lemon juice.
Shake hard with ice and strain into an absinthe coated chilled Martini glass.
Toast Raymond and Paul Lillet for creating this wonderful elixir for us in 1887. Maybe if we dig them up and give them a sip of this they could recreate the original formula for us?
* I used Bols triple sec which is almost indistinguishable from Cointreau, but don’t tell anyone.
I’ve always wondered what would happen if you drank a Zombie followed by a Corpse Reviver…
By James 31st May 2017 - 12:28 am
Can you use Pineau de Charente instead of Killer?
By James 31st May 2017 - 12:29 am
Sorry, that should be “instead of Lillet”… Autocorrect!
By Andy 31st May 2017 - 10:50 am
While Lillet is certainly a killer aperitif I think you could certainly give Pineau a try. It’s pretty similar but maybe lacks some of Lillet’s citrusy elements. Please let us know how it turns out.
By Quiddity 8th June 2020 - 2:26 pm
(1) Interesting that you reckon on an absinthe coat of the glass rather than a dash in the drink. What’s your coating technique?
(2) Absinthe is suuuuuuuuper expensive here. What are your thoughts on using some aniseedy substitute? My most straighforward options are Pernod and a Turkish raki going by the name of Yeni.
By Andy 8th June 2020 - 3:01 pm
The amount of absinthe you need is so small that just coating the glass is the best way to keep it from overpowering the drink. Often this is done by icing the glass, adding a few dashes of absinthe swirling it in the glass and throwing away the ice. Yes, it chills and coats the glass but as to your second point it wastes much of the absinthe. Since I chill my glasses anyway I just have some absinthe in a small spray bottle and squirt a couple of pumps into the glass. Absinthe can be pricey but a bottle lasts for ages as you rarely/never use more than a teaspoon (Dr Funk). Fortunately it can often be found in half sized of even 100ml bottles. Grande Absente 69 is my favoured brand and comes in those sizes (theres also a 55). If unavailable Pernod is a good substitute and indeed is what was used in the US when absinthe was banned. You’ll find more details on the articles on the Sazerac and Dr Funk.