The “corpse reviver” is a family of cocktails that reach back as far as the very art of mixing cocktails in the first place. While the Corpse Reviver No. 1 has its fans (a mix of brandy, calvados, and sweet vermouth), the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is much more refreshing — a great pick for the season and perhaps the best gin cocktail for winter in existence.
The whole idea of this family of cocktails is to “revive” a hungover person. It’s meant as a cocktail you drink before eleven am, as a booster for the day. Something to get you going after a long night. The beauty of the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is that it’s largely citrus-based, making it a ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s morn (when a lot of us need a little reviving). It’s also a pretty old-school cocktail, so there are no bells and whistles — just easy shaking and pouring.
Does this work as a hangover cure? We guess in the same way that a Bloody Mary or mimosa (or any hair of the dog) does. But that doesn’t really matter when making a drink this tasty and easy to shake. Let’s get into it!
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Corpse Reviver No. 2
- 3/4 oz. London dry gin
- 3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
- 3/4 oz. orange liqueur (triple sec)
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 barspoon absinthe
When it comes to dry gin, absinthe, and triple sec, you don’t have to break the bank. I’m using standard Gordon’s London Dry Gin, local absinthe, and Le Favori Triple Sec. All are standard and great for mixing.
What you can’t skip is the Lillet Blanc. This is a specific fortified white wine that’s infused with cinchona, citrus, and sweet white wines and liqueurs. It’s a very specific vibe and irreplaceable flavor-wise. You also need this aperitif to make a Vesper Martini, so it likely won’t go to waste if you pick a bottle up for your bar cart.
What You’ll Need:
- Coupe (pre-chilled)
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail strainer
- Fine mesh strainer
- Prechill your glass in the freezer (preferably overnight).
- Juice one lemon and strain the pulp.
- Add the gin, Lillet, orange liqueur, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice to about the 2/3 mark.
- Affix the lid and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted over and ice cold.
- Remove the glass from the freezer and measure a barspoon of absinthe into the glass. Twirl the glass around so that the absinth completely coats the inside of the glass bowl. Discard extra absinthe in the sink.
- Strain the cocktail into the waiting glass. Serve (ungarnished).
This is insanely bright and refreshing, just what I needed with snow on the ground outside. There’s a citrus aspect that’s a little bit like Squirt soda pop meets a soft and floral gin and tonic. It’s delightful. This gentle citrus is accented by those slight bitter notes from the Lillet. The Lillet Blanc also brings an ever-so-slight sweetness to the whole drink that helps balance the anise from the absinthe and juniper and roots from the gin.
Overall, this is a ray of sunshine for a dark day. Would it cure a hangover? Maybe if you drink only one. At the very least, it’d make the day a little more bearable and that’s all you can really ask for with any hangover “cure.”