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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vintage Happy Hour with Jenny Q: The Corpse Reviver

It's a special Halloween edition of Vintage Happy Hour, and as promised, our second holiday-inspired selection is at hand! Whether you need a pick-me-up after dressing up and toting the kids around trick-or-treating, a remedy for a Halloween party hangover, or just a jump start to bring you out of that candy coma, consider the Corpse Reviver! (Cue the ominous, spooky music.)

The Corpse Reviver is a classic cocktail--one that seems to only be called upon for Halloween these days, but back in the 1920s and 1930s, it was a popular anytime libation, particularly so in the mornings, when having a cocktail was an acceptable and widely practiced custom. "Corpse reviver" used to be a generic term pretty much equivalent to "hair of the dog" by today's comparison, and such cocktails were touted as cure-alls for whatever ails ya. The Corpse Reviver first appeared (where else?) in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book, and good old Harry gives us two variations to try, along with caveats for their enjoyment.

Corpse Reviver #1:

2 oz apple brandy
3/4 oz brandy
1/2 oz sweet vermouth


Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Craddock suggests this version be enjoyed “before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.”

The Corpse Reviver #2 has a few more ingredients and a special method of preparing the glass with absinthe for premium enjoyment. It has become the more popular of the two recipes among today's imbibers. It sports a spooky whitish color, and the visual effect is heightened by the addition of a maraschino cherry. Check out this nifty video from

So go ahead! The kids have gotten their treats--now it's time for yours! But if you do indulge in a round or two of Corpse Revivers, beware! Harry Craddock cautions that, while one can make you perky and peppy, overindulgence can have the opposite effect, as “four of these taken in straight succession will unrevive the corpse again.”

Eat, drink, and be scary!

Photo Credits: ,

And check out our special vintage Halloween release:

Professionally edited and formatted for today's e-readers, and featuring a full-color gallery of vintage Halloween postcards.
Download the Legacy Vintage Collection Enhanced eBook Edition today for 99