This cocktail is all that remains from a whole family of cocktails created with the purpose of a morning pick-me-up in mind. In the late 19th, early 20th century, it was not all that uncommon to enjoy a cocktail first thing in the morning to “revive the corpse” as it were.
While there was a whole family of these drinks, there are really only two in existence today, and only one of those is worth trying. Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), comments that “four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.” Now, I’m not sure that anyone needs four of these in quick succession, but it is a fantastic drink for sure, and one of my favorites. Ironically, when I was in New Orleans, a city steeped in classic cocktail culture, this was one drink that I had a difficult time finding a bartender that could make a proper one for me.
Anyways, this is an excellent cocktail to use as an introduction to the classics. It has a slightly tart, herbal flavor, with a sweetness that is at the same time dry and clean. I highly recommend that you give this one a try. Cheers!
Corpse Reviver #2
1 oz Gin
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 tsp Absinthe
The Pegu Club was created in the 1920′s at the Pegu Club in Rangoon. At the time, the Pegu Club was a gentleman’s club in the British controlled province of Burma. Back then, most bars featured a house cocktail, and unlike many of them, the Pegu Club gained fame outside of its creator’s walls, and has become increasingly popular even today.
As the drink presented in Vintage Spirits differs from most of the other classic recipes that I have seen, I will present both, although the one I put together for myself stayed true to the printing in the book. The main difference between the two versions is the type of orange liqueur used. While the classic recipe seems to call for Orange Curacao, the Vintage Spirits recipe calls for Cointreau, a proprietary triple sec.
The Pegu Club (Original Recipe?)
2 oz London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters
The Pegu Club (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
I think that these two drinks differ enough in proportions and ingredients to have two different flavor profiles. Which is better? I suppose that is a matter of personal preference. I have only tried the one version as of yet, so let me know if you have an opinion.