How To Make A Corpse Reviver No. 1
The Corpse Reviver No. 1 counts among the earliest-recorded, specific “hair of the dog” hangover remedies, with roots stretching back to the 19th century. Two types of spirits — apple brandy and Cognac — combine with sweet vermouth to provide a morning-after elixir that packs a spirit-forward punch. While less appreciated than its counterpart, the Corpse Reviver No. 2, this Manhattan riff boasts a unique profile and easy-to-follow specs.
Both versions of the Corpse Reviver share their roots in a recipe printed in the 1871 book, “The Gentleman's Table Guide.” In it, authors E. Ricket and C. Thomas suggest combining a “half wine glass of brandy, half glass of Maraschino, and two dashes of Boker’s bitters.”
Bearing little resemblance to today’s Corpse Revivers, readers and cocktail enthusiasts must instead turn to Harry Craddock’s 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book” to discover the earliest versions of the modern preparations of the No. 1 and No. 2. Along with the instructions for the former, Craddock notes that it should be “taken before 11 a.m. or whenever steam and energy is needed.” While there’s no science to back up its effectiveness on this front, it’s an evocative message that’s likely only aided the cocktail’s fortunes over time.
Stirred and served up in a chilled coupe glass, bold and boozy Cognac and Calvados combine seamlessly with the bittersweet kiss of vermouth.
While not included in most classic recipes, a few dashes of orange bitters can round out this otherwise straightforward drink. Other adjustments to the recipe vary, with some mixologists recommending equal parts Cognac, Calvados, and sweet vermouth (almost always Italian).
Whether you’re in need of “steam and energy” or simply looking for a new way to deploy Cognac in cocktails, read on for the ultimate Corpse Reviver No. 1 recipe.