Thursday, January 21, 2016

corpse reviver

1/4 part Dry Gin (3/4 oz Bluecoat)
1/4 part Cointreau (3/4 oz)
1/4 part Swedish Punsch (3/4 oz Kronan)
1/4 part Lemon Juice (3/4 oz)
Dash Pernod (1/8 oz Butterfly Absinthe)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist here.

Two weeks ago, my bar ran out of Lillet Blanc and we were faced with either removing the Dose, a very popular mezcal Corpse Reviver #2 riff, for a few days until the liquor order arrived or figuring out an alternative. I decided that we would swap out the Lillet for Swedish Punsch which I first spotted in Crosby Gaige's 1941 Cocktail Guide & Lady's Companion. This recipe was repeated a few times during that decade including in 1940s  Trader Vic cocktail books; however, soon after, most books returned to the Lillet standard. So why did this variation come about? Well, the early 1940s would have found France with a bigger concern than producing and shipping out Lillet to the United States, for World War II was upon them as well as trans-Atlantic shippers. Drink makers in the United States must have gotten crafty and figured out what had a citrussy note as well as a moderately low sweetness level to substitute to make their beloved Corpse Reviver #2s. While I am not sure how many bars were serving drinks like this in the United States after Prohibition killed off most bar programs in addition to decimating desire for these drinks, it only takes a single bartender to craft a variation like this for a cocktail book author for it to gain notoriety. My explanation does not deal with whether Cointreau was still available, but perhaps liquor shelves had a bigger stockpile than European aromatized wines back then; moreover, other orange liqueurs certainly existed.
The change for those two or three days at work did allow for a lot of discussion with guests over history, availability, and necessity when mentioning the temporary variance in the menu item. Hard to compare a foul-up in ordering with World War II, but the end result to the well bottles was the same. Two Sundays ago (which was the last shift without Lillet), I decided to have my nightcap drink be Gaige's Corpse Reviver (despite having plenty of Cocchi Americano at home -- and I am guessing that Italy had bigger concerns during the early 1940s than shipping out that Lillet alternative). With a lemon twist added to the drink, the aroma was full of floral and citrus notes. Lemon and orange on the sip led into gin, rum funk, orange peel, tea, and anise on the swallow. Overall, this Corpse Reviver had a similar balance to the classic #2, but the Swedish Punsch donated a delightful complexity that increased my enjoyment of the cocktail.

1 comment:

Dagreb said...

This is delicious! Subbing Swedish Punsch for Lillet might just become my new thing.