Corpse Reviver #2
* 3/4 ounce gin
* 3/4 ounce Cointreau
* 3/4 ounce Lillet blanc
* 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
* Splash of absinthe or absinthe substitute
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This is a fantastic cocktail, definitely more than the sum of its parts. Just go easy on the absinthe; you don’t want it to overpower the drink. You should be able to smell it in the glass as you raise it, but only taste the slightest hint when you drink. I find I get the best results by using an absinthe “rinse”, where I add a splash to the empty glass, swirl it around to coat the insides, and then discard it before pouring in the drink.
This recipe is originally from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book and has been updated by Dale Degroff in The Craft of the Cocktail. The original recipe calls for equal parts of the first four ingredients, as you see here, while Dale’s variation adjusts the proportions to 1 ounce of gin and 1/2 ounce of the other three ingredients. He also suggests an absinthe substitute due to absinthe being illegal in the US at the time his book was published. Now, of course, you can get absinthe in the US again so there’s no need for substitutes, but if you prefer you can still use Pernod, Herbsaint, or any other similar anise-based spirit.
For the drinks pictured above I used Czech absinthe, brought back from Prague a few years ago. It’s not the best absinthe on the market but I didn’t know that at the time I bought it, when I just picked it at random off the shelf of a Czech supermarket where it sat with dozens of other brands. I don’t drink it often, so I’ve still got the bottle sitting around. The latest issue of Imbibe magazine (just arrived in my mailbox today!) includes a comparison of absinthe varieties now available in the US, so maybe it’s time to pick up something new.