TIP: S9E03 "Different Modes of Preparing the Fruit"
99% of the time, the drinks in this program are determined by what Adam Reed puts in the script, which I have less than zero involvement in. He writes that someone has pastis in one hand, and I tell you as many interesting things as I can find about it.
This week, on the other hand, I had some ever-so-slight involvement.
However, because I come in on the back end...
there is no audible mention of the TIP...
It just slips in there...
How did I have input on the process? Because every now and then, Adam's script will say something open ended, like:
“Mallory sits at the corner of the bar, with a CIGARETTE and a morning COCKTAIL.”
The cocktail is not defined and never mentioned by name in the dialogue, so we get to decide what to fill that hole with...
We take into account the time of day, the location and setting, the time period, the characters personality and tendencies. In this case, we have Mallory, who is an American hotel owner, living in French Polynesia in 1939. What would her drink of choice be in the morning?
For that, let's jump in the terminology train for some etymology. TOOT! TOOT!
I couldn’t tell you why, but there are three entries in Ebenezer Cobham Brewer’s 1870 book, “Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable” for the term “The Hair of the Dog that Bit You”. They are as follows:
Brewer indicates the hair of a dog refers to an ancient wound remedy and lists a quote attributed to Aristophanes, which would mean it is from the 4th century AD. If that is to be believed, Aristophanes even says that it is “well written” in his time, so the concept is indeed very old.
Now to an every-so-slightly more recent dictionary from the 1889, Albert Barrer’s concisely named, “A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon and Cant: Embracing English, American, And Anglo-indian Slang, Pidgin English, Tinkers’ Jargon, and Other Irregular Phraseology.”(Source)
“Corpse-reviver (common), a dram of spirits.
There was a general rush for wet towels and corpse-revivers.--Sporting Times”
Referring to a hair-of-the-dog drink as a corpse reviver seemed to be semi-common, and like hair-of-the-dog, it wasn’t specific, but just a general term for any spirits drank in the morning. That may have first changed around the same time that the cocktail and cocktail culture first began to blossom in the mid to late 1800’s.
1871 is the first known date for a mixed drink that is given the title. In E. Ricket and C. Thomas’ book, “The Gentlemans Table Guide”, the recipe calls for equal parts brandy and maraschino liqueur, with a few dashes of Boker’s Bitters. I’ve never tried this version, but it doesn’t sound well balanced. Maraschino is a potent flavor. With some tinkering, this has potential.
The more enduring recipes emerged several decades later, when Harry Craddock published the first edition of “The Savoy Cocktail Book” in 1930. In it, were two entries, Corpse Reviver No. 1 & Corpse Reviver No. 2.
As you can see, they are not variations on each other. They are both wildly different drinks. Which seems to indicate that it might have become fashionable to give the title to any drink that you were serving as a hair-of-the-dog, and start cataloging them by number, instead of a unique name. There may have been more added to the list over the years, but these two by Harry Craddock have endured the longest, and the No. 2 is easily the most well known, and if we’re being honest, it’s also the better of the two when it comes to balance as well. Nine years later, in 1939, on the island of Mitimotu, in French Polynesia, Malory Archer is drinking the:
CORPSE REVIVER NO. 2
The Savoy recipe is as follows:
- 3/4 oz Lemon
- 3/4 oz Kina Lillet
- 3/4 oz Cointreau
- 3/4 oz Dry Gin
- 1 dash absinthe
Shake well and strain in to a cocktail glass.
Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.
First let’s talk about the process, because Craddock's recipe is a bit short on details.
- Place some ice in your cocktail glass, pour a small amount of absinthe over the ice and set aside.
- In a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, add gin, lemon, lillet & cointreau.
- Shake vigorously until well chilled.
- Swirl the ice and absinthe around the cocktail glass and then dump all of it into the sink. All you want is to lightly rinse the inside of the glass with absinthe.
- Double strain the rest of the cocktail into the glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.
Next up, what the hell is Kina Lillet?
For starters, it doesn’t exist anymore. The company that made it, altered the name and recipe in 1985, drastically altering the flavor of the spirit. Their product as the Savoy calls for cannot be found… or can it?
For a while, cocktail experts would have told you that the removal of bitterness from Lillet made it unsuitable, and that a substitution, like the Italian made Cocchi Americano should be used instead.
However, based on the currently label Lillet Blanc, it seems to indicate that their current product does indeed contain quinine. I am no expert in these matter, and I don’t anticipate that you have any desire to be either so this is all I will say: this drink needs a fortified white wine. If you can get your hands on Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano, great. If not, I personally think that a solid dry vermouth will still make for a perfectly tasty corpse reviver.
Other notes: Abisinthe. You can totally use that Pastis you bought. Since absinthe was largely banned in the U.S. and France, it’s what they would have been using in 1939 anyway.
- Brandy & Cigars
- Long neck beers
- Steak And Potatoes
p.s. I often tend to get my information from wikipedia and random other sources when writing this posts, however this time, a lot of info came from Cara Strickland's article on Tales of the Cocktail. I know I'm not writing for money or anything, but I kinda feel like it's important to link to sources when possible.