Classic Cocktail: The Corpse Reviver #2

updated May 2, 2019
The Corpse Reviver #2, Americano Cocchi-Style
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someone is pouring cocktail into coupe glass
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Do you drink before 11am? No? Me neither. But did you know that there used to be an entire subsection of cocktails devoted to morning drinking? Drinks designed to get you up and going? Indeed — and an excellent expression of these morning cocktails is the tart, sweet, summery sipper the Corpse Reviver #2.

This cocktail has come up before at The Kitchn, when Nora mentioned in it her post on top 5 intriguing cocktail names. A corpse reviver was designed to revive the corpse of a hungover citizen, to wake him up and give him some energy for the morning. This style of cocktail achieved some notoriety through The Savoy Cocktail Book‘s mention of them: “To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.”

I don’t know about you, but I drink coffee for steam and energy. But if you say a cocktail can do the same — well sure, twist my arm. I find though, sadly, that I get a bit dopey after this cocktail (like all others) — the alcohol has its usual slowing effects. It takes just one, not four, to reach the state of Harry Craddock’s warning, “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.” So I’ll stick to coffee for waking up in the morning, but in the late afternoons, this is my current cocktail of choice.

Why? It’s such a simple cocktail, just right for those stunned post-work evenings. Very few measurements to remember: Just mix sweet digestivo wine (like Lillet, or my current favorite, Cocchi Americano — watch for more on that soon) with dry gin, aromatic orange liqueur, and bright lemon juice. Add a dash of absinthe or Pernod for depth and pep and shake it all up. It’s a dead easy (sorry for the pun) cocktail, and one that’s simple to mix up pitcher style then shake off one by one for a crowd. It’s tangy, floral, sweet, balanced — the ultimate grown-up lemonade.

Read more about Corpse Reviver-style cocktails: Spirits: Corpse revivers, the original energy drink by Jason Wilson at The Washington Post

The Corpse Reviver #2, Americano Cocchi-Style

Makes one drink

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 ounce

    American Cocchi (or Lillet Blanc)

  • 3/4 ounce

    Cointreau (or triple sec)

  • 3/4 ounce

    dry gin

  • 3/4 ounce

    lemon juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    Pernod (or absinthe)


  1. Combine all ingredients in shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds then strain into coupe. Drink immediately.

(Images: Faith Durand)