The Drink of the Day for the day after Halloween is the Corpse Reviver No. 2. The Editorial Board of The Drunkard’s Almanac assumes you survived the Halloween zombie apocalypse last night. Post zombie apocalypse the choice is clear: a cocktail from the Corpse Reviver family is what you’ll need.
Our method is undisputed: zombie survivalists agree that destruction of the brain is the only foolproof way to neutralize a zombie. Some believe decapitation is required. We leave the choice to you, though the Drink of the Day will not help you with the latter choice.
The Corpse Reviver concept
Use of this term was common in the late 19th century where the slang considered it “a dram of spirits.” These, of course, were hair of the dog remedies to refresh after an evening of heavy drinking at a time when workplace expectations were….ahem…..a bit looser than today. The term was used to describe a mixed drink as early as an issue of Punch in 1861 and over the years a variety of morning-after Corpse Revivers were described.
We owe it to Harry Craddock and his pioneering bartending to get us to our Drink of the Day. Harry, you see, was an English bartender who came to the U.S., gained citizenship and worked at a variety of New York bars. Prohibition got in the way of this plan. So he set sail back to England and around 1920 became bartender at the American Bar in the Savoy Hotel, London.
This was a good thing. Harry became one of the most famous bartenders of the 1920s and 1930s and in 1930 he published his masterwork, The Savoy Cocktail Book. This guide is still in print, readily available, and highly recommended. Craddock describes both the Corpse Reviver No. 1 and the Corpse Reviver No. 2, and is credited with inventing the latter.
The Corpse Revivers No. 1 and No. 2
To put all of this in context one should note that with respect to the Corpse Reviver No. 1 Craddock noted they are “To be taken before 11am or whenever steam and energy are needed.” The Corpse Reviver No. 1 itself is straightforward: 1 oz of cognac, 1 oz of Calvados and ½ ounce of sweet vermouth. The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is more widely liked so we will focus on that in the context of Drink of the Day. Besides, it has lemon juice so you’re getting a serving of fruit as part of your balanced diet.
The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is equally effective and straightforward to assemble, though Craddock does note that “Four of these taken in quick succession will unrevive the corpse again.” So stick to no more than three before you move on to something else.
This cocktail is akin to the Last Word and variations that we visited on Mr. Potato Head’s birthday, May 1. Unlike the Zombie it uses only common pantry items so you should not have to make a special journey to the store.
Corpse Reviver No. 2
- Add ingredients to your trusty shaker, add ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass, coupe preferred.
- Return to the world of the living.
- Rinse and repeat.