Corpse Reviver #2

America’s original morning cocktail

Photo: Margaret Houston

If pre-Prohibition cocktails are on your list of favorite hobbies, chances are you’ve heard of the Corpse Reviver #2.

The name “Corpse Reviver” actually refers to a style of drink, one meant to “revive the corpse,” or, in other words, cure a hangover. A sip of the concoction and it becomes clear that day-time cocktails of the 1920s and ’30s were a lot harder to swallow than today’s Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

Though there are three Corpse Revivers, Corpse Revivers #1 (a mix of brandy, Applejack and sweet vermouth) and #3 (a shaken concoction of brandy, Campari, Triple Sec and lemon juice) are rarely, if ever, seen on bar menus today. Why? Well, they simply aren’t very good.

The lively punch of citrus and gin, paired with the herbal notes of absinthe and the sweetness of Cointreau, make for a refreshing and well-balanced libation.

Margaret Houston

A warning: In The Savoy Cocktail Book, published by barman Harry Craddock in 1930, he writes of The Corpse Reviver #2: “Four of these taken in swift succession will un-revive the corpse again.” Sip with caution.


    • 1 oz. gin

    • 1 oz. lemon juice

    • 1 oz. Lillet blanc

    • 1 oz. Cointreau

    • 1 dash absinthe


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a citrus peel.

  2. *Note: For a more herbal nose, you can add the absinthe to the coupe glass first, swirl to coat the glass and then pour the other shaken ingredients in.