The first time I came across the Corpse Reviver group of cocktails was reading P. G. Wodehouse, who on several occasions has Jeeves restoring Bertie from a hungover state with one of his ’tissue-restorers.’ Here’s one passage from The Code of the Woosters.
“I loosed it down the hatch, and after undergoing the passing discomfort, unavoidable when you drink Jeeves’s patent morning revivers, of having the top of the skull fly up to the ceiling and the eyes shoot out of their sockets and rebound from the opposite wall like racquet balls, felt better.“
I have never been quite hardcore enough to indulge in hair of the dog cures, except once at university during a particularly hideous morning when half a Corona did considerably ease the pain. I really can’t imagine facing one of these in the morning, although I suppose, as Bertie’s experience testifies, you don’t do it for pleasure under those circumstances.
As an evening snifter though, these are ideal, although something of the eyeballs shooting out of the head effect does remain – this is a substantial drink. The gin, Cointreau, and Lillet are all relatively fragrant, but the absinthe provides a kick in the teeth at the end. I imagine making this with Cocchi Americano, which should be a better substitute for the Kina Lillet originally specified in the recipe, would up the bitterness quotient quite a bit, but I’ll take any excuse to use Lillet Blanc and I didn’t mind it being a bit more delicate.
1 oz gin
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lillet Blanc (or Cocchi Americano if you’re going for historical accuracy)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Dash of absinthe (go easy)
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon or orange peel. Prepare to retrieve eyeballs from across the room.