The A–Z of Gin Cocktails: C is for…Corpse Reviver No. 2

When you hear the name Corpse Reviver No. 2, there are two questions that immediately spring to mind: Can this actually revive a corpse, and what about No. 1?

Firstly, the Corpse Reviver title isn’t as spooky or supernatural as it may first appear. Because of the cocktail’s punchiness and strength, it’s often been quipped that it’s strong enough to bring somebody back from the dead…aka revive a corpse. In more grounded terms, it’s often been jokingly dubbed as a hangover cure.

The reason No. 2 features in the title is rather obvious – it’s the second of a series, although the No. 1 version isn’t quite as popular and doesn’t involve gin. That mix, too, is said to have the ferocity to pull somebody out of a dreadful hangover headache.

As one could imagine, its title has seen the cocktail become a beloved go-to drink at Halloween, with this rendition featuring Chase Seville Marmalade gin particularly spooktacular. The ingredients and method for this can be found as below:



Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake until thoroughly combined and cooled. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a fresh orange peel twist.

The origins of the Corpse Reviver series are a little less muddier than the earlier editions of this series. The most common belief is that the cocktail was created by the famous bartender of the 1920s, Harry Craddock, who worked at The Savoy in London. In 1930, his book The Savoy Cocktail Book was published, and inside were several concoctions derived by Craddock, including one Corpse Reviver No. 2. The book rather famously leaves a note with its recipe stating “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”

Today, the cocktail is highly regarded and a favourite among many industry giants. Cotswolds Distillery founder Dan Szor named the Corpse Reviver No. 2 as his favourite cocktail in a Desert Island Drinks interview last year, commenting: “One of my favourite cocktails has always been a Corpse Reviver No. 2, a classic concoction which is as easy to make as it is delicious.”

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