Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail

Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe

 The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
209 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 74mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The story of the corpse reviver is that of a drink "to be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed," according to Harry Craddock in the "The Savoy Cocktail Book" from 1930. It goes beyond a single drink and was instead an entire class of pre-Prohibition drinks. These were, quite appropriately, meant to "raise the dead" or, in reality, someone who was hungover and stumbled into the bar early in the morning.

The corpse reviver no. 2 is a popular classic cocktail and arguably the best-tasting of all the corpse reviver drinks. It is a great gin cocktail and a testament to the mixability of its botanical-filled spirit. Traditionally, it would have used Kina Lillet, though Lillet Blanc and Cocchi Americano are commonly used today. In a pinch, dry vermouth will do just fine. For the orange liqueur, choose a top-shelf brand such as Cointreau, and be sure to use fresh lemon juice for this fascinating sour drink.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with absinthe and toss the excess.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Pour the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Shake well.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe
    The Spruce 
  5. Strain into the rinsed glass.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Garnish with an orange peel. Serve and enjoy.

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce

Lillet Blanc vs. Cocchi Americano

Many classic cocktail recipes called for Kina Lillet, which was replaced in the 1980s with Lillet Blanc, including the reduced the quinine content that suited the modern drinker's taste. Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts have been enjoying Lillet Blanc in their classic drinks, but with reduced quinine, something was missing. The higher quinine percentage in Cocchi Americano provided the wonderful bitter tone that drinkers were seeking. The basic flavor is the same as the Lillet, but it has more punch. In many cocktails, it can take the drink from great to fabulous.

Cocchi Americano was difficult to find, but its recent rise to stardom is making it as readily available as Lillet Blanc. You may, however, have to visit a specialty liquor store to find either. If you cannot find them, a quality dry vermouth makes a good substitute.

Recipe Variations

There are many classic corpse reviver recipes, though only numbers 1 and 2 have survived the test of time. Today, the corpse reviver no. 2 is the most popular. This may be due to the fact that modern drinkers tend to prefer gin over brandy, though many will also tell you that no. 2 just has a more interesting flavor profile. But if you're looking into mixing interesting and alternative brunch cocktails, give a try to other revivers:

  • Corpse Reviver No. 1: Stir 1 1/2 ounces brandy, 3/4 ounce Calvados or other apple brandy, and 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Corpse Reviver No. 3: Shake 1 ounce each of brandy, curaçao, and maraschino liqueur with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Alternatively, shake 1 ounce each of brandy, Campari, and triple sec with 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and ice, straining into a cocktail glass.
  • Corpse Reviver No. 4, aka Savoy Corpse Reviver: Shake 1 ounce each of brandy, Fernet Branca, and white crème de menthe with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

How Strong Is the No. 2 Corpse Reviver?

The corpse revivers are certainly not weak drinks and they do stand up to their reputation, or un-revive, if too many are consumed. Each of these recipes averages out to an alcohol content of around 30 percent alcohol by volume (60 proof), which is about the same as the average martini.