“Four of these taken in quick succession will un-revive the corpse again.” – Harry Craddock, Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930
One of the classic early morning cocktails, the Corpse Reviver #2 was originally considered a hangover cure of sorts. An eye-opener, or hair of the dog style drink of classic provenance, it appears the sharp citrus flavours were seen by the bon viveurs of the 1920s as the ideal tonic to a night of overindulgence. Of course these days we rely on non-alcoholic lemon shower gel to provide the same citrus tingle. Shame.
The other overriding flavour of the Corpse Reviver is absinthe, interestingly a common ingredient in other early morning drinks (see also the Morning Glory) and used here as a dry counterpoint to the sharp citrus and the floral gin botanicals.
So why the #2? Well the original Corpse Reviver is a cognac, calvados and vermouth concoction, and hasn’t aged as well, or with as much popularity as the second in the series. Many bars have come up with #3s, #4s and beyond, but none are as perfectly balanced and silently lethal as the tart and sweet, gin-based version.