Food & Drink
A fresh take on a classic American cocktail: the Corpse Reviver
Published: October 3, 2012
What better October cocktail in this zombie-obsessed moment we're living through than the Corpse Reviver? The name is Halloween-appropriate, but the corpse being revived by this cocktail is not referring to the undead – it's the one who drank himself to death the night before. Corpse Revivers are meant to serve as a hair of the dog, but you won't find me drinking one in the morning – they're lethally strong.
This is actually not just a single cocktail, but a family of drinks – there are well-known recipes for Corpse Revivers Nos. 1-3, and countless mystically obscure variations out there. If you're throwing a Halloween party for grown-ups, you might want to serve all three, but here we'll focus on No. 2, simply because it's my favorite.
The "classic" recipe calls for Lillet Blanc, though the original 1930s cocktail used Kina Lillet. In 1986 Lillet changed their recipe – and flavor profile – to the dismay of drinkers. Enter Cocchi Americano, a liqueur only recently available in the U.S. that has a lightly bitter quinine flavor, similar to the original Kina Lillet. To give our Remixed drink a Florida twist, I substituted Solerno, a blood-orange liqueur with a more refined and fiery citrus burn than the cloying traditional triple sec; I also used my treasured Big Wheel Provisions blood-orange bitters (keep an eye on their site to know when they'll be selling another batch). If you can't go local, Bittermans and Angostura both make blood-orange bitters. Happy haunting!
1 ounce gin
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
1 ounce lemon juice
dash of absinthe
Rinse a chilled cocktail glass (a martini glass or coupe) with the absinthe: pour in a dash, swirl it around to coat the glass, and dump out any leftovers. Pour the first four ingredients into a cocktail mixer with ice and shake thoroughly, then strain into the coated glass.
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Solerno blood orange liqueur
1 ounce Cocchi Americano
.75 ounce lemon juice
three drops of blood orange bitters
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail mixer with ice and give it a really good shake – you'll want to dilute this extremely potent cocktail with a bit of ice melt. Strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe. Blood oranges aren't in season until December, but if you can get your hands on one, a slice makes a nice deep-red garnish.
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