Skip to Content

What to Drink This Weekend: Corpse Reviver #1

What to Drink This Weekend: Corpse Reviver #1

Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.

We recently featured the Corpse Reviver #1 in our guide to underrated and obscure cocktails. You’ve likely heard of this cocktail’s sibling – Corpse Reviver #2 – but the OG rarely gets as much love. Which is a shame! Because this pre-prohibition beverage is damn delicious and relatively easy to make.

The family of Corpse Reviver cocktails was considered to be perfect as hangover remedies, boozy hair-of-the-god elixirs made to refresh and revitalize. Corpse Reviver #1 was first published in The Savoy Cocktail Book in the 1930s. The cognac-based cocktail retained popularity into the 1950s but along the way seems to have been usurped by others in the Corpse Reviver family. Now, while you might find Corpse Reviver #2 at classy cocktail bars, you’re less likely to stumble upon the original. So, go ahead and make one for yourself!

Corpse Reviver #1 Ingredients

Cognac – Cognac is the dominant component of this three-ingredient cocktail. You could theoretically use any brandy, but the original recipe specifically calls for cognac. Hennessy or Grand Marnier are solid options. Some recipes call for Armagnac, which is a grape-based brandy from the Gascony region of France, or you can sub in your preferred brandy. Part of the fun with this style of cocktail is mixing and matching until you find a combination you enjoy.

Calvados – Calvados is a specific style of apple brandy from Normandy, France. Try Père Magloire or Roger Groult. In a pinch you can work in just about any apple brandy like Laird’s Applejack Brandy.

Sweet Vermouth – With some serious sweetness coming from the brandies in this cocktail, you’ll want something a bit more balanced in your choice of vermouth. Punt E Mes is a great option. Also if you’re fond of Vermouth Blanco or have found a sweeter dry vermouth, Lo-Fi is a great option, try those, too!

Corpse Reviver #1 Recipe

Some recipes differ regarding the exact proportions of the various spirits. I’ve seen equal parts for all of the spirits or cognac taking the lead. I’d recommend experimenting and seeing what works best for you.

  • Combine 2 ounces of cognac and 1 ounce each of Calvados and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass.
  • Add ice and stir until chilled, at least 15 seconds.
  • Strain into a coupe glass (preferably chilled).
  • The original recipe doesn’t call for a garnish but a lemon peel or maraschino cherry are welcome additions. Enjoy!