The Corpse Reviver #2 – My Current House Cocktail

The curious Corpse Reviver #2 has become the house cocktail lately at my place, which means I offer one to guests and probably make a couple a week for myself otherwise. It’s quite a delicious and interesting combo.

corpse2I first encountered it, knowing it previously by name only, after dining at the wonderful Rendezvous in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts with The Boston Socialite. A sudden horrific downpour occurred immediately after we had paid our bill and we were walking towards the exit.

Being rather intelligent, we sat down at the bar. I cannot remember what The Socialite drank, however I simply told the skilled Mixologist to make me something “interesting and fun.” He asked me a few questions on taste, and then produced a Corpse Reviver #2, to my obvious delight upon first sip.


  • ¾ part Gin – I usually use regular Bombay or Tanqueray. You do not need an overly complex or flowery gin with all the other ingredients, but feel free to experiment.
  • ¾ part Cointreau (and yes, you can try some cheap triple-sec instead if that’s all you have)
  • ¾ part freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ part Lillet Blanc, a widely available French aperitif wine similar to Vermouth in style but not in taste. You can also use it to make a James Bond Vesper, enjoy it on the rocks, or even make a Lillet and Tonic with it.
  • One dash Absinthe – just a few drops

Add to ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake.

According to Wikipedia, the Corpse Reviver family of cocktails are intended as “hangover cures” but I can’t comment on that. I believe a hangover is a sign that one needed less alcohol in the past, not more in the future, but I do not claim to be an expert at this. I just like tasty beverages in some semblance of moderation of course!

Most variants of the Corpse Reviver have been lost to history.. The earliest known Corpse Reviver recipe is from The Steward’s Handbook and Guide to Party Catering in 1903 and is much different, and includes 2 egg yolks, hot Burgundy and honey. The Savoy Cocktail Handbook (1930) by famous bartender Harry Craddock lists the Corpse Reviver #1 and #2.

And no, I’ve never tried a Corpse Reviver #1. Perhaps I should add that to my “Bucket List” along with manage a rock band, see the Great Barrier Reef, and ride a camel around the Pyramids. Oh wait, I’ve already done those  . . . but I’ve never cooked a perfect Pork Chop, danced the Tango, or surfed a 10 foot wave!

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    • Ron
    • February 16, 2015

    Rendezvous was a great restaurant – did you know they closed somewhat recently. I loved the very carefully chosen wine list with lots of reasonably priced gems and the bartenders were not college kids that a needed a job but skilled mixologists!

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • February 16, 2015

      They closed? Bummer! They were a real gem and agree with your comments 100% Ron. Wonder where the chef went?

    • Baldo Bobbo
    • August 22, 2015

    I just had one in San Antonio – BTW your SANS@Night talk rocked” there!

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • August 22, 2015

      I had strong competition as it was both Thursday with lots happening outside and of course NetWars down the hall with free drinks and food. Glad to see so many people show up.

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