The Corpse Reviver Cocktail: Morning of the Living Dead


Most mornings, my wife, Christie, likes to sleep in. She works late into the night, so it's understandable, yet at the same time she does often need some encouragement to emerge from the cozy confines of the covers. Today, it was especially difficult for her to get up, since we had stayed up late talking. At a certain hour, I came in and joked to her resistant ears that she resembled a corpse and I’d decided to make her a Corpse Reviver to help her get out of bed. A drink first catalogued in the Savoy book by Harry Craddock, it's a strong, hair-of-the-dog type of concoction. I thought it would be just the thing.

Gary Regan suggests using applejack instead of brandy, and I like that idea. His recipe does call for a smidge of brandy, though, and all I had was really expensive stuff best not used in a cocktail. So, to make a stronger, coarser drink that could more reliably raise the reluctant corpse of my wife, I substituted grappa (from Patagonia, which she had given me) for brandy. In homage to Regan, I also dosed it with a few drops of his orange bitters. After tasting it, though, I decided she would never drink a cocktail that strong, so I added a dash of maple syrup (it was still before noon) to round it out.

I met her with the drink as she was emerging from the bathroom. Predictably, she cried, "I am not a corpse! I'm not drinking a cocktail." But she was good enough to taste it, and it sent her sputtering and gasping back into consciousness. I like to think that I really helped her wake up this morning.

Corpse Reviver ("Buzzed" version)

1.5 oz Laird's Apple Brandy
.5 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
.5 oz grappa
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash maple syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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