My awesome sister gifted me a bottle of absinthe to consider using in a cocktail last year. At that point, my knowledge of this liqueur flavored with anise (not to be confused with star anise, though they both have a licorice-like taste) was limited to the Sazerac, a New Orleans classic. But since I had a whole bottle to play with, it was time to start exploring.
Fortunately, I quickly discovered what is now one of my favorite drinks: Corpse Reviver #2.
Made famous by The Savoy Cocktail Book first published in 1930, Corpse Reviver #2 was said to be a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure. Although I'm sure it's very effective at just that, the cocktail is also a great way to take the edge off after work. Basically, it's my go-to when I need a non-whiskey yet still-stiff sipper.
I've tried different variations on the legendary drink, including one with mezcal that was surprisingly good. However, nothing really compares to the OG formula. In fact, I contemplated whipping up one of my signature twists, but, well, I couldn't bring myself to mess with perfection.
This week, we have lots of local flavor in our glasses — Tippler's Orange Liqueur from St. Petersburg Distillery and Fish Hawk Spirits' Absinthia Rubra — alongside Green House Artisan Gin. The sweetness present in the latter booze works well in Corpse Reviver #2; then again, I don't think there's a gin that wouldn't. Well, OK, maybe the one that rhymes with smanqueray.
Drinkability is the beauty of Corpse Reviver #2, as is simplicity. You'll find yourself enjoying several — and even after you're wasted, you'll remember its effortless recipe.
Corpse Reviver #2
1 ounce gin
1 ounce St. Petersburg Distillery Tippler's Orange Liqueur
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon Fish Hawk Spirits Absinthia Rubra
Fill a coupe glass with ice and set aside to chill. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, excluding the orange peel (because garnish, and what kind of sense would that make?). Shake until well-chilled. Discard the coupe's ice and strain in your cocktail. Garnish with that peel you hopefully didn't put in the shaker.