Corpse Reviver No. 2 Recipe: Gin’s Most Iconic ‘Hair of the Dog’ Cocktail
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Corpse Reviver No. 2 Recipe: Gin’s Most Iconic ‘Hair of the Dog’ Cocktail

Comprised of Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, lemon juice and a dash of absinthe, a Corpse Reviver No. 2 is one of gin’s most iconic “hair of the dog” cocktails. (Photo: Ambitious Studio* – Rick Barrett)

The Corpse Reviver is a family of cocktails that dates back to the 19th century. These cocktails were originally believed to cure hangovers by “reanimating” the body and mind with strong flavors and alcohol. The combination of ingredients, such as gin, citrus and absinthe, was thought to provide a pick-me-up to those experiencing the after-effects of heavy drinking.

One such variation of this family of drinks is the Corpse Reviver No. 2, which includes equal parts gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice and a dash, or glass wash, of absinthe. The cocktail was first documented in Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book and gained popularity during the Prohibition era in the United States.

In recent years, the Corpse Reviver No. 2 has undergone a resurgence in popularity, and variations of the cocktail can be found on many modern cocktail bar menus. Other Corpse Reviver cocktails, such as the Corpse Reviver No. 1 (cognac based) and the Corpse Reviver No. 3 (made with Fernet-Branca), also exist but are less well-known.

Without further ado, let’s make a Corpse Reviver No. 2!

Corpse Reviver No. 2 Recipe

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Cointreau (or another triple sec liqueur)
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add in the gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice. Shake well for 10-15 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass that has been washed with a dash of absinthe. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Modifications: If you don’t have absinthe, you can use a substitute like pastis or Pernod. If you prefer a weaker drink, you can add a splash of water or adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your taste.

Does a “Hair of the Dog” Cocktail actually Cure a Hangover?

A “hair of the dog” cocktail is a beverage commonly drunk the morning after heavy alcohol consumption to alleviate a hangover. The odd name comes from the idea that drinking more alcohol will cure the effects of a previous night’s boozing session.

However, according to a 2017 news release from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the age-old belief that having a “hair of the dog” drink will cure a hangover has no scientific basis. Laura Veach, a substance counseling expert, explained that while having a drink in the morning may temporarily alleviate symptoms by introducing more alcohol into the body, it does not cure the hangover.

The effects are merely masked and will eventually reappear. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the hair of the dog theory persists as a popular remedy for hangovers. Nevertheless, experts recommend abstaining from alcohol and staying hydrated to prevent and alleviate the symptoms of a hangover.

So, enjoy your Corpse Reviver No. 2 responsibly and just know that, while it is indeed a tasty gin cocktail, it simply will not cure a hangover.

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping an extra-dry martini while painting or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.