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Cocktail Concoctions

Time for a Drink: Corpse Reviver #2

Time for a Drink: Corpse Reviver #2

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Drinks such as the Manhattan have recipes that are so engaging and enduring that the cocktail moves straight from inception into the classic column; others, such as the Harvey Wallbanger, enjoy a brief flare of popularity then mostly disappear. Then you have the undead: the drinks that enjoy a certain degree of fame for years or even decades then succumb to changing tastes and disappear from view, only to pop up again on the cultural radar long after being presumed dead.

Enter the Corpse Reviver #2. Part of a class of "corpse reviver" cocktails—so named because of their purported ability to bring the dead (or at least painfully hungover) back to some semblance of life—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.

High time, too. Delicately balanced, not too powerful, with a lingering, mysterious flavor, the Corpse Reviver #2 is enjoying a well-deserved second wind.

Of course, there are different (though similar) recipes for the Corpse Reviver #2; visit Kaiser Penguin to see a taste test of several versions.

Time for a Drink: Corpse Reviver #2

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Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Lillet
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 drop absinthe or pastis

Procedures

  1. 1

    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

  2. 2

    Of course, there are different (though similar) recipes for the Corpse Reviver #2; visit Kaiser Penguin to see a taste test of several versions.

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