Blood Orange & Limoncello Corpse Reviver #2

We hope that everyone is having a great holiday. We are fortunate to have the week off, so we have been drinking to everyone’s good health and looking forward to a prosperous new year. Lately we’ve required more than one hair of the dog, and thought we would share the version we have been drinking this winter, which has been unseasonably warm in San Francisco.

The Corpse Reviver duo of drinks is probably the best known hangover cure, hence the name. It is a classic cocktail, initially printed in the post-prohibition era Harry Cradock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book. The original Corpse Reviver is made with Cognac or Brandy, and the more popular Corpse Reviver #2 is gin based. Both versions tend to be boozy but are perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of sweetness to make them the perfect hair of the dog cocktail.

We prefer to drink the Corpse Reviver #2, which is easy to make and even easier to remember, since it requires equal parts of four items (Gin, Lillet Blanc, Orange Liqueur and lemon juice) and a dash of Absinthe to add a complex anise flavor.

Corpse Reviver #2
0.75 oz. Gin
0.75 oz. Orange Liqueur (Cointreau, Triple Sec, etc.)
0.75 Lillet Blanc
0.75 oz. lemon juice
Dash of Absinthe

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and thoroughly mix. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

We tend to do variations on this drink: substitute the orange liqueur with limoncello and also replace the lemon juice with other citrus. Thankfully, blood oranges are now in season, and the ones we have been getting tend to be more tart at this time of the year, making them an ideal replacement for the lemon juice (not to mention making it a much more festive looking drink). We have also been making an equally good version with sweet Japanese grapefruit purchased at our farmer’s market, and we do believe that Pomelo juice would also work well.

We have plenty of limoncello in stock, and we can honestly say that we prefer to use it in place of orange liqueur in most of our cocktails. We also replaced the Lillet with Cocchi Americano in this version, cutting back its quantity a little bit to account for the sweetness of the blood oranges.

Blood Orange & Limoncello CR2
1.0 oz. Gin
1.0 oz. Limoncello
0.75 Cocchi Americano
1.0 oz. blood orange juice (or sweet grapefruit juice)
1 bar spoon Herbsaint or Absinthe

Coat the inside of a chilled cocktail glass with the Herbsaint (or Absinthe) and discard any extra. Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and thoroughly mix. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Related Posts
Making Limoncello Out of Life’s Lemons (Mar 11, 2013)
Mixology Monday Simple Sidecar Inversion: Pisco Pedicab (Feb 18, 2013)
Limoncello Cocktails (Aug 30, 2012)
View all BarFlySF Cocktail Recipe Posts


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