Corpse Reviver No.2
Corpse Reviver No.2
The Corpse Reviver No.2 holds high esteem in the world of mixology. This wittily titled cocktail, created by Harry Craddock, is a dry, herbaceous mixture that features equal parts gin, lemon juice, triple sec and dry vermouth, elevated and lengthened with a delicate dash of absinthe. The original recipe calls for the now unavailable, Kina Lillet vermouth, but Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano work great in its place.
Gin, Dry Vermouth, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.
The Corpse Reviver No.2—so named for its ability to revive someone suffering from a deathly hangover—is something of a legend among mixology enthusiasts.
This classic cocktail is a firm favourite among bartenders and cocktail lovers and is a wonderful inclusion for a gin-centric mobile bar hire menu.
The Corpse Reviver No.2 was featured in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, alongside several other ‘Corpse Reviver’ cocktails, and whilst most of these have now fallen out of favour with modern drinkers, the No.2 remains as popular as ever. This perfectly balanced, sour style drink mixes equal parts gin, triple sec, lemon juice and floral dry vermouth, finished with a drop of absinthe.
Drinkers are sometimes a little fearful of cocktails containing absinthe, and whilst the Corpse Reviver certainly packs a punch, it is balanced and subtly flavoured. This cocktail makes a great addition to a menu centred around gin drinks or classically styled cocktails. With its relative strength, you may want to consider featuring the Corpse Reviver alongside some longer, more mellow cocktails. Something like a Tom Collins or a French 75 would fit well with the classically styled Corpse Reviver—both gin based, these drinks are served long, topped with either soda or sparkling wine.
For those eager to showcase some other classic cocktails there are loads of fantastic drinks from the same era as the Corpse Reviver, if you’re looking to feature a range of spirits then something like a Sidecar could work with your menu. The Sidecar is a classic French cocktail featuring cognac, triple sec and lemon with a sugar rim. This cocktail exudes the same sophistication as the Corpse Reviver and together, drinks like these are perfect for those wanting a touch of elegance for their event.
If you’re interested in featuring the Corpse Reviver No.2 as part of your bar hire and want to know more about what drinks might go well alongside it, make sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other gin based, classic and sour style cocktails from our list.
The Corpse Reviver No.2 belongs to family of cocktails once known as ‘anti-fogmatics’.
This curious name referred to the drinks’ abilities to clear the foggy feelings harboured after a heavy night, and these hangover cures were named for their apparent ability to awaken a corpse. The gentle flavours of this cocktail make it an easy drink with which to start the day, it is mildly tart but surprisingly drinkable, considering its high alcohol content.
The first recorded recipe for a ‘Corpse Reviver’ cocktail was featured in E. Ricket and C. Thomas’s 1871 publication, The Gentleman’s Guide. Ricket and Thomas’s recipe called for equal parts brandy and maraschino liqueur finished with two dashes of Boker’s bitters. The Number 2 was first featured alongside other Corpse Revivers, in Harry Craddock’s 1930, Savoy Cocktail Book. In it Craddock famously notes that, “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”
Myths & Legends
Craddock’s recipe calls for Kina Lillet, sadly this French vermouth flavoured with quinine is no longer available.
Lillet do make a similar product now called Lillet Blanc which makes a great Corpse Reviver, but for the closest taste to the original, most mixologists prefer Cocchi Americano, an Italian vermouth with a close similarity to the classic French product.
A brief clarification from the Gin Foundry on the Corpse Reviver No 2:
“The Corpse Reviver, or family thereof, (no not called Zombies, that’s a different concept altogether) is a collection of cocktails designed as a Hair of the Dog hangover cure. The drink is laden with spirits and will certainly cure you of any self-pity. For about an hour. Then it’s back to bed for you.”
Ingredients & Equipment
It’s only really the vermouth that needs to stay the same in this drink, however, a good gin is essential, something classic like Beefeater is a perfect choice. You could also try a few different triple secs to find the balance you want, we like Pierre Ferrand but Cointreau is a great traditional triple sec too.
- 25ml Gin
- 25ml Triple Sec
- 25ml Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano
- 25ml Lemon Juice
- 1-2 Dashes of Absinthe
- Lemon Twist to Garnish
- Hawthorne Strainer
- Fine Strainer
- Mexican Elbow
- Bar Spoon OR Dash Bottle (Absinthe)
- Martini Glass or Coupette
- Cubed Ice
- Chill your glass in the freezer or fill it with ice
- Take your Boston glass or small tin
- Using your jigger to measure, add the gin, triple sec and vermouth to the shaker
- Using your Mexican elbow and your jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lemon juice and add it to the shaker
- Use your bar spoon (5ml) to measure out a small amount of absinthe and add to the shaker or add a couple of dashes if you are using a dash-bottle
- Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal using your Boston tin or lid
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until your tin is very cold
- Remove your glass from the freezer or empty of ice if necessary
- Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain your cocktail into your chilled Martini glass or coupette
- Garish with a lemon twist
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.