Corpse Reviver #1

Corpse Revivers were (and are) a style of drink intended for a bit of the hair of the dog (an expression that refers to alcohol used as a treatment for a hangover). Hard to say exactly what it was about these drinks that made them seem more appropriate for this use over other drinks. Regardless of time of day of consumption, the Corpse Reviver #1 is worth discovering as it is not seen very often.


2 oz brandy

1 oz sweet vermouth

1 oz applejack


Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Source: “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Craddock (1930)


Robert W 7 Sep 2012
5:05 pm

Robert, another wondful cocktail! I like your videos more now that you have been tasting your drinks and describing them. I also tried this one with Dolin and Carpano Antica Formula. The Dolin brought out very spicy notes and the Antica was still spicy but more subdued and mellow, which was my favorite. Other Savoy cocktails that use apple brandy include the Cota, Ante, and the last one in the book, the Zed Cocktail, all of which use Hercules. But what is Hercules?

Ginty 8 Sep 2012
3:10 am

Robert, I can’t speak for the #1 (since I can’t get Applejack in Canada,...) but I’ve noticed the #2 goes down REALLY easy. And if someone is seriously hung over, the easier the drink goes down the better!

Eric Angle 8 Sep 2012
8:35 am

Good video as always. Your comment about using VS brandy primarily for cocktails makes sense, but do you think there are some cocktails (brandy old fashioned or a Sidecar maybe) where using a VSOP makes sense?

Greg Patenaude 11 Sep 2012
9:44 am


I feel your pain.  Living in Canada can be frustrating from a ‘spirit availability’ perspective.  But as Robert says, Applejack and Calvados are interchangeable (they are both apple brandies) and Calvados is available in Canada so if you are so inclined, you could always pick up a bottle and give the Corpse Reviver #1 a try.  I’m not sure, however, if Applejack works better than Calvados in this case.  Anybody have any thoughts on this?


Robert Hess 13 Sep 2012
2:57 am

Re: Hercules…. This is a product used in a few cocktails from the Savoy that generates more than a few debates. Some have suggested it was similar to pastis, while others say it was more like an amaro. If you search on you’ll find a few recipes that Eric worked up to solve this problem when he was trying to work through all of the drinks.

Re: VS vs VSOP… A brandy old fashioned could be a good use of a vsop, but a vs works very well in a sidecar. It is also important to remember that one brands vs might be better than another’s vsop.

steve7500 15 Sep 2012
1:25 pm

Greg, The REAL difference is the price. I was in my reg. store this morning and I purchased LAIRDS Apple Jack. The CALVADOS is TWICE the cost of Apple Jack. Enjoy. I plan on making this tonight so we’ll see how it works. Some people say the AJ is not as good and others say the price is the real factor.

steve7500 26 Oct 2012
12:15 pm

Another comment on the Apple Jack vs Calvados. LAIRDS produces quality - they make An Apple Jack, an aged 7 1/2 year old Apple Jack, and a bottled in Bond Apple Jack. I have used all three and for this cocktail I chose the Bottle in Bond. More character and a big difference over the regular. The aged is also very good but w/o the bite of the B in B. Enjoy.

blair frodelius 6 Dec 2012
3:42 pm


On to day four of the Small Screen Network’s Repeal Day series. 

This is a damn hearty drink!  I’m using VSOP cognac, Laird’s B-I-B and Carpano Antica.  The two brandies work quite well together, and in spite of no citrus or simple syrup, the overall flavor is amazingly balanced.  You’d almost swear there were aromatic bitters in here, but it’s just a trick of the palate.

I like this one A LOT.  I think it’s the next step beyond the Manhattan School of cocktails, and so good to see applejack getting it’s share in something besides a Jack Rose.


Good Spirits News

Ginty 29 Mar 2013
3:14 pm

I tried this finally this afternoon (not in the morning, maybe next time) and I’m quite fond of it! Nothing that blows my socks off, and yet that is maybe why it’s such a good “morning drink” as it is very mellow. Almost like a “big boy’s” apple juice. I used a vs Courvoisier and a (I have to admit) cheap Calvados with Martini sweet vermouth. I might go a little more expensive with the Calvados next time, but maybe a rough-and-ready Apple Brandy will better fit the bill for me as I can’t get Apple Jack.

Jim Curto 30 Apr 2013
7:12 pm

Hope this isn’t too off topic, but I made a pretty good combination by mistake. It took me three drinks before I was sure it was good…...  Could it be in the Corpse Revivor family of drinks? Maybe. 1 part brandy (cheap Christian Bros.) 1 part rum (Cruzan Aged Rum from St. Croix, 1 part Cynar. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

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