Corpse Reviver: Bringing a Cocktail Back from the Dead

Corpse Reviver: Bringing a Cocktail Back from the Dead
JK Grence

Ring the bell -- it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.

Names are a funny thing. Names get even funnier when it comes to cocktails. In the late 1970s, the introduction of sweet liqueurs like Peachtree schnapps ushered an era of candy-sweet drinks with lurid names like Fuzzy Navel, Woo Woo, and (of course) Sex on the Beach. With names like those, nobody cared that the drinks tasted horrible. Though the trend has abated some with the vintage cocktail renaissance, it still continues with such concoctions as the Adios Motherfucker, or AMF for short.

See Also: Last Call Spring Break Special: Adios Motherfucker!

Cocktail purists may scoff at these drinks, but giving a drink a salacious name is hardly new. Take, for instance, this week's drink, the Corpse Reviver. Who could resist a name like that? Apparently, several different libationists thought they were pretty original when they came up with it; older cocktail books list several different Corpse Revivers, all of which are completely different.

One cocktail book author listed four different Corpse Revivers in their book, and listed them by number. The best one happened to be the second one. Now, whenever people come in to Shady's and order one, it's always called a Corpse Reviver #2. Since nobody ever drinks Corpse Revivers 1, 3, or 4, I hereby propose that we start calling the second one just "Corpse Reviver." And I propose that people order them more often, because they're splendid drinks.

This is another one of those old drinks that calls for Kina Lillet. I understand if you instinctively reach for the Lillet Blanc. It still makes a fine cocktail, but the blanc is sweeter and lacks the astringent punch of long-gone Kina Lillet. Thankfully, Cocchi Americano is nearly identical to Kina Lillet.

One other word of caution: Be careful with the absinthe. The other ingredients are tame by comparison, so the absinthe will run rampant if you let it.

The recipe:   Corpse Reviver (#2 if you insist on calling it that) 1 dash absinthe ¾ ounce lemon juice ¾ ounce Cocchi Americano (or Lillet Blanc) ¾ ounce triple sec ¾ ounce gin

Rinse mixing glass with absinthe, discarding excess. Add remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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