This is a seriously classic cocktail. The use of the words “corpse reviver” to describe a mixed drink appears in literature as early as 1861. That’s before our great, great grandparents were even of drinking age. You know it’s a good cocktail if the recipe has stood the test of time this long.
The cocktail series dubbed “Corpse Revivers” was popularized in 1930 by the Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. Believe it or not, they were originally devised as a hangover cure because they’re equally strong and refreshing (I guess you can’t be hungover and drunk at the same time?). Well, we can’t disagree with over 100 years of wisdom, so in addition to serving these at our Addams Family dinner party, we’ll be whipping these up at our next brunch (buckle up).
The most commonly drunk of all the corpse recovers is Corpse Reviver No.2., made with gin, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, lemon juice and a dash of absinthe for good measure. We used Empress 1908 Gin for our recipe, not just because it’s our favourite gin of all-time, but because it added that oh-so-perfect hue to make this drink feel extra special for our dinner party. If you’re new to Empress, then 1) where have you been? 2) Let us tell you about it. Empress 1908 is a hand-crafted spirit from Victoria Distillers in British Columbia, inspired by the renowned tea and cocktail programs of the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. It’s micro-distilled in small batches and has eight botanicals, one of which is butterfly pea blossoms, which give it an all-natural indigo hue. But there’s more to it: with the addition of citrus (like the lemon juice the Corpse Reviver No. 2 calls for), Empress 1908 goes from indigo blue to a soft pink. Empress 1908 is our favourite gin to pair with Lillet Blanc because of its forward juniper and grapefruit notes, which match perfectly with the citrus flavour notes of the Lillet.
- 3/4 oz. gin, we used Empress 1908
- 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
- 3/4 oz Cointreau
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 dash of absinthe
- Lemon peel, for garnish
Shake all ingredients together in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.