Corpse Reviver No. 2

5 from 1 vote
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The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is a timeless classic cocktail featuring equal parts gin, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. It’s a citrusy and refreshing cocktail similar to the French 75 without the fizz. While it’s a lesser-known classic cocktail, it’s one of our favorites and is an undeniable crowdpleaser that is very easy to sip.

A pale yellow Corpse Reviver No. 2 cocktail garnished with a decoratove lemon twist in a Nick and Nora glass.

Brief History

The Corpse Reviver No. 2 first appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock in the 1930s. It’s said to have earned its name from its hangover-curing qualities, “raising one from the darkness of a previous night’s overindulgence“.

I can personally attest it’s a fantastic brunch cocktail that should sit next to the Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, or even the French 75. It’s citrusy, floral, subtly sweet, and a reasonably low-proof cocktail that goes down easily. A word of caution and to quote Harry Craddock, “Four of these taken in swift succession will un-revive the corpse again.” Brilliant.

Looking for more citrusy gin cocktails? Also, try the Tom Collins and Bee’s Knees.

Ingredients

Corpse Reviver No. 2 ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board.
  • Gin: gin adds natural botanicals and complimentary citrusy notes that blend well with the citrus-forward ingredients in the cocktail. I typically use London dry gin but you can also experiment with different flavored gins (Bully Boy is a local favorite of mine).
  • Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano: Lillet is a French, wine-based aperitif that tastes like a sweet sauvignon blanc with a dry spiced finish. It’s essential for this cocktail, however, it’s sometimes substituted with Cocchi Americano. The cocktail is not the same without it.
  • Cointreau or triple sec: orange liqueur adds citrus, orange notes, and subtle sweetness that rounds out the entire drink, making it very crushable. Use Cointreau for a more balanced and higher-end feel.
  • Lemon juice: always opt for fresh lemon juice when possible for refreshing tartness. I use a citrus squeezer for easy juicing.
  • Absinthe: classically this cocktail is made with absinthe, however, it’s not absolutely necessary for a good cocktail, especially if you aren’t an anise fan. A cap full of absinthe twirled around the glass and discarded is traditional. You can also pour some in a cocktail sprayer for easy rinses. I do the same in my Sazerac!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1.

Combine gin, Lillet, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with a large cup of ice.

A hand pouring a double jigger of fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker.

Step 2.

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Double straining a Corpse Reviver No. 2. into a chilled Nick and Nora glass.

Step 3.

Optionally slice the lemon piece into a decorative shape (image 3a). Express the lemon over the glass and garnish (image 3b).

A lemon peel on a wooden cutting board with the edges trimmed into a decorative rombus.
A pale yellow Corpse Reviver No. 2 cocktail garnished with a decoratove lemon twist in a Nick and Nora glass.

Expert Tips

  • For an easier absinthe rinse, fill a mini cocktail spray bottle and mist the absinthe into the glass. This works well and doesn’t waste any absinthe.
  • Chill your glasses in the freezer. A cold glass prevents warming and keeps your drink colder for longer.
  • For expressing citrus over a cocktail: point the outer peel (non-pith side) outward facing the drink and gently squeeze the edges so the oils spray out over the top of the drink. If done properly, you can see the oils floating on the surface of your drink. This works best with two hands.
  • Always double-strain shaken cocktails. This removes tiny ice particles that dilute your drink with unnecessary water as you sip.

More Classic Cocktails

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Corpse Reviver No. 2 Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
A brightly refreshing and citrusy classic cocktail made with gin, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice.

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 ounce gin
  • 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Dash or barspoon Absinthe, optional
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Instructions 

  • Combine gin, Lillet, Countreau, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with a large cup of ice.
  • Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Express the lemon over the glass and garnish.

Notes

For an easier absinthe rinse, fill a mini cocktail spray bottle and mist the absinthe into the glass. This works well and doesn’t waste any absinthe.
Chill your glasses in the freezer. A cold glass prevents warming and keeps your drink colder for longer.
For expressing citrus over a cocktail: point the outer peel (non-pith side) outward facing the drink and gently squeeze the edges so the oils spray out over the top of the drink. If done properly, you can see the oils floating on the surface of your drink. This works best with two hands.
Always double-strain shaken cocktails. This removes tiny ice particles that dilute your drink with unnecessary water as you sip.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 12.8gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 5mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 12.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: English
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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