The idea of a Corpse Reviver is fundamentally debaucherous - in essence, it's a "hangover cure" - but one of the more fascinating aspects of the drink itself is the ability for it to varied and manipulated in the bartender's hand. While there are many listed editions of a Corpse Reviver, there is one that stands above the rest as the most popular version of the drink - and that's the Corpse Reviver No.2, first noted in the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930.
The category of hangover cure drinks had been pottering around long before that, with the first known recipe written down in 1871 as a mixture of "half a wine glass of brandy, half-glass of maraschino, and two dashes of Boker's Bitters" - A wine glass being the modern measurement of 2 ounces or 60mls and Boker's Bitters being a known mixture of cassia bark, bitter orange peel and cardamom - for those wishing to re-create. Eventually, in the un-documented moments of history, that morphed into the Savoy Recipe of Vermouth, Calvados (Apple Brandy) and Brandy. From then, continually listings of Corpse Revivers in a gamut of different cocktail books like Official Mixers Manual or the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book - even the Corpse Reviver No.2 recipe changed to include Yellow Chartruese instead of triple sec, alongside a legendary version entitled the Corpse Reviver No. Blue, which included Blue Curacao, created as a joke by Kiwi bartender Jacob Briars.
The first known and most common recipe for the Corpse Reviver No.2 is a simple one. Only a mix of Gin, Lillet Blanc, Lemon Juice and Triple Sec in equal measures of 22.5ml, a couple of dashes of absinthe, and only if you're so inclined, a barspoon of simple syrup, to create something balanced, complex and simply delicious that still celebrates the gin but in a well-crafted drink of its own accord.
the corpse reviver no.2
22.5ml Australian Gin
22.5ml Lillet Blanc
22.5ml Lemon Juice
22.5ml Triple Sec
2 dashes absinthe
barspoon of simple syrup (optional)
shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a twist of lemon.