Corpse Reviver No. 2

Everyone has their favorite hangover cure. For some people, it’s a big, greasy cheeseburger. Others simply need some Gatorade and Tylenol to get rid of their pesky headache and rehydrate the body. For some, the only way to get rid of those post-drinking pains is to go back to the one thing that caused it in the first place.

In 1930, Harry Craddock was credited with creating the Corpse Reviver No. 2 while working at the Savoy Hotel in London, intended specifically for curing the dreaded hangover in his famous Savoy Cocktail Book. He wrote, “to be taken before 11 am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” The No. 2 was, and still is a very popular recipe that comes from the Corpse Reviver family of cocktails designed to bring back the “dead” after a long night of drinking. While the origin of the family is unknown, the Savoy Cocktail Book was the first widespread publication of the Corpse Reviver No. 2, which is undoubtedly the most popular version. Only the first few Corpse Reviver recipes are still around, and the rest of the family has been lost with time.

The cocktail itself is refreshingly citrus-y and light in both spirits and flavor, and perhaps that’s why it’s the perfect pick me up when you wake up and feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.

The Corpse Reviver No. 2

 
3/4 oz. New Amsterdam Gin 
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Bar spoon of Pernod Absinthe Superior
 
Add ingredients into a shaking tin, add ice, shake and double strain into a coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.
 

The No. 2 has been a staple in many cocktail bars and famous cocktail books and has stuck around for almost a century with good reason. If you’re looking for something easy to drink that packs a nice punch, this should be a go-to cocktail. Or maybe you just need to cure that awful hangover, but remember this, in the words of Craddock, “Four of these taken in swift succession will quickly unrevive the corpse again.”

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Sailor Swizzle

One of the most popular up and coming trends in bartending is Tiki, and it’s coming back in a very big way. Every time I step foot into a Tiki bar, I’m enamored with the elaborate fruit and flower garnishes, exotic flavors, and Tiki inspired glassware that I just want to put in my purse and take home with me (luckily, many of these bars sell their glasses as collectible souvenirs, so I’ve never ACTUALLY had to do this… yet.) From the over the top décor to the sweet and tropical drinks, there’s really nothing I don’t absolutely love about Tiki bars.

Tiki inspired bars go all the way back to the 1930’s, when Don the Beachcomber was created by Ernest Gantt in 1933. Located in Los Angeles, “Donn Beach” (formerly Ernest Gantt) served up Cantonese food and rum drinks, and he decorated the restaurant using décor he collected from his travels in the tropics. He’s the creator of the Zombie, a still popular cocktail consisting of several types of rum, pineapple juice, and lime juice. He went on to open Waikiki Beach, which is considered to be one of the original Tiki bars, sheltered by large palm trees and lit up on the beach only by a couple of tiki torches.

Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California was also a cornerstone for Tiki bars. Created in 1936 by Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic’s contributed one of the most popular and classic drinks of all time, the Mai Tai. The Mai Tai is a wonderful mix of various rums, orange Curacao, orgeat syrup, and lime juice. Years later, he was able to branch out and become a worldwide chain, and eventually a brand selling liquor, mixes, and other retail products. Both Donn Beach and Bergeron were both extremely influential to the Tiki movement that is happening now.

With my recent trip to Las Vegas, I left inspired after visiting Frankie’s Tiki Room, and exotic, slightly grungy, and totally charming Tiki room with drinks that were so tasty and boozy that I don’t even remember the rest of my night, in true Vegas fashion. I don’t have a lot of the traditional Tiki ingredients on hand, BUT I was able to come up with something that’s pretty damn tasty and Tiki inspired.

Sailor Swizzle
1 ½ oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
¾ oz. Fresh Orange Juice
½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Heavy Pomegranate Grenadine Float (about ¾ oz.)
Pour ingredients into a glass about ¾ full of crushed ice, “swizzle” the ingredients together using a bar spoon or swizzle stick, top with more crushed ice, float grenadine over the top of the ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and a tropical flower.

The Sailor Swizzle is totally refreshing and gives a hint of those exotic tropical flavors found in those classic Tiki drinks. This cocktail is take on the traditional Rum Swizzle, a cocktail served over crushed ice with Black Rum, Gold Rum, pineapple and orange juices, Bermuda falernum, and Angostura bitters. The Sailor Jerry spiced rum adds a sweet vanilla flavor with just a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Out of all of the spiced rums out there, this is one of my absolute favorites (and it’s boozy as all hell). The Sailor Swizzle is the perfect cocktail for those late summer nights, sitting outside with friends and nothing but the light of a couple tiki torches.

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The Tabootini

Sexy, sophisticated, smart, boozy. These are my favorite adjectives to describe the Martini. It’s a cocktail with finesse and strength. I’m not talking about frou frou cocktails with flavored vodkas and schnapps. Oh no, I’m talking about THE one and only Martini. But first, let’s take a step back.

In Harry Johnsons’s 1888 Bartenders’ Manual, this cocktail was simply a wine glass, filled with half gin, half vermouth. While the origin of the martini is unclear, this was the first recorded recipe for anything like a martini. It’s possible that in 1863, a vermouth producer “Martini” gave the name. An even more plausible story is that the Martini actually came from the Martinez, a drink consisting of gin, sweet vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino, and bitters, created at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, near the town of Martinez. Or maybe it came from the Marguerite cocktail, with 2:1 proportions of Plymouth gin and vermouth, with a dash of orange bitters. It’s something that we’ll never truly know, and cocktail historians will continue to differ in their opinions on this until the end of time.

The Martini was extremely popular in the mid 19th century due to the availability of bootleg gin, but it’s popularity faded in the 1970’s-80’s. It didn’t stay that way for long though. With more and more flavored vodkas, rums, and liqueurs, the “Martini” came back in a big way. In the 90s and early 2000s, martini bars were all the rage. They were considered the next big thing in the world of cocktails. But these bars weren’t selling Martinis. They were making some sweet, sugary, and I’ll even admit, tasty drinks. The only thing the drinks had in common with the Martini came down to a single piece of glassware. I could ramble about this forever, but the fact of the matter is, a Martini is simply gin and vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist and an olive. Nothing more, nothing less. Variations do exist, and that’s important for cocktails to evolve. I often get the argument of, “well what about vodka Martinis?” Yes, you can make a variation of a Martini by substituting vodka for gin, but it becomes a Vodka Martini. Dirty Martinis? Well, I guess if you’re into that, I’ll throw you a tiny bit of olive juice into your cocktail, but seriously, if you want a super dirty, filthy martini, I will gladly pour your gin into a rocks glass and top in with ice and olive juice. I know it sounds a bit pretentious, and I’m honestly not knocking the variations of the cocktail, but it’s hard to see people annihilate an awesome, classic, older than your grandparents drink.

So if you’re in the mood for something sexy, sophisticated, smart, and boozy, you should really give this namesake version a try.

The Tabootini

2 oz. Magellan Iris Flavored Gin
1 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Stir in a mixing or pint glass until chilled, strain into a coupe or martini glass
Garnish with a lemon twist and a Swedish fish

*Note: Martinis should ALWAYS be stirred. If you shake your martini, you will end up with an extremely watered down cocktail.

The Tabootini is a play on the traditional Martini with lots of floral and herbal notes. Magellan is a floral gin distilled with botanicals such a cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves, and of course, juniper berries, but in the infusion process of the iris root and flower, it is given a natural blue color, making this gin stand out both on the taste buds as well as the bar shelf. The Dolin Blanc gives this martini a nice herbal component from the 54 botanicals used to create this vermouth. While the list of botanicals is definitely kept quiet, you can definitely taste the light flavors of wormwood, rose petals, camomile and honey. The Tabootini looks sexy, tastes sexy, and will make you feel sexy.

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The Old Fashioned

When I think of the most basic bitch of classic cocktails, the first thing that pops into my head is the Old Fashioned. It is the cocktail in which the word “cocktail” was first used as vernacular for a beverage with spirit, bitters, sugar, and water back in the early 1800s. So how did it get the name old fashioned, and why is it not simply a cocktail? At the Pendennis Club, a gentleman’s club in Louisville, Kentucky, the whiskey based cocktail became the Old Fashioned, because patrons asked for a cocktail made the old-fashioned way, and it’s most popular form was with whiskey. It’s simple: Whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water, but thanks to the current buzz around pre-prohibition cocktails, where the drinks are smooth, boozy, and fresh, the Old Fashioned has come back in style in a very big way (don’t think I’ve forgotten about Mad Men. They helped a lot too).

 My first old fashioned I ever ordered was concocted by muddling a cherry, orange, and sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass (also known as an OLD FASHIONED glass), filled with chipped ice and topped with Whiskey. It was horrendous and turned me off of the spirit for almost five years.

When I started bartending at a bar that appreciated craft and pre-prohibition cocktails, I was required to at least try the cocktails I was making. I watched as my owner delicately placed a large ice cube into the glass, poured two ounces of rye whiskey on top, three dashes of angostura bitters, and a spoonful of house made simple syrup. He stirred over and over again until the cocktail had reached his desired level of dilution. “I hate whiskey,” I said as he slid the glass over to me. He grinned, and said, “have you ever really HAD whiskey?” I pondered that question for a moment, and finally took a sip. No. Right then and there, I knew the answer was no. I could taste the breadiness of the rye, the sweetness of just a dash of sugar, the slight bitterness of orange oil he expressed over the top of the cocktail and around the rim of the glass. The ice melted so slowly, leaving the cocktail drinkable to the last drop instead of a watered down mess.

I fell in love with whiskey right then and there, and I haven’t stopped loving and appreciating it since. It’s a simple cocktail to make, but this cocktail is anything but basic to the taste buds. They were certainly doing something right back in the 1800s.

 

Old Fashioned Recipe:

2 oz. George Dickel Rye Whisky 

Bar spoon of sugar or simple syrup

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir until the glass feels cold (this depends on what kind of ice you’re using. Larger cubes with less surface area will dilute slower than small cubes with a lot more surface area. Many whiskey & cocktails bars will have the former, because no one really wants over diluted whiskey)

Orange peel garnish

 

Of course, there are several variations to this recipe. In essence, an old fashioned is any spirit with sugar, bitters, and water, but it’s most common form is whiskey based. If you see someone break out the cherries and muddler, they’re doing it wrong. Run for the hills, because no fruits should be harmed in the making of an old fashioned. It’s sacrilege. If you’re anything like I was years ago, when the only whiskey you’ve tasted has been in the form of a fruit cocktail or mixed with coca-cola, I urge you to try the Old Fashioned. You’ll be in for a sweet surprise.

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