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Boy I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of this column doing interviews with gin reps and talking about Boilermakers instead of focusing on making a proper cocktail every week. And satire? Christ-on-a-bike, man! Who even writes this stupid thing? Like, get it together, ya boozy, Barefoot Contessa, I got a dry Jeffrey over here! You boys know what I’m talking about …

So, in an effort to go the extra mile this week, I got good and drunk last night at Old Ebbitt (Em’s cousin’s family is in town) then pointedly avoided proper re-hydration before bedtime so I could wake up in the proper state to enjoy today’s feature: The Corpse Reviver #1. The things I do for you people.

The CR1, as its name suggests, is an eye-opener, a fog-cutter, a chilly morning goblet of early-century headache medicine. The Savoy Cocktail Book notes this drink is “To be taken before 11 a.m. or whenever steam and energy are needed.” Hm, no potential pitfalls there … let’s get steamy!

Corpse Reviver #1

2 parts Brandy

1 part Calvados or Apple Brandy

1 part Italian Vermouth

Stir to a brisk chill and adequate dilution, then strain into a cocktail glass. Recommend consuming within 3-5 minutes (for dramatic relief effect) if consuming medicinally, but it’s a fine sipper all other times. Don’t be afraid to enjoy this beauty in the evening.

NOTES: I like a gentler brandy for this drink over the dark, rich variety. Cognac works really well. Mine is made with Armagnac because, well, that is what I’ve got right now. Remember that Applejack we used in the Jack Rose last week? That will do well for the apple brandy. If you want to go the extra mile and find a bottle of Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy I recommend it. It’s a little harder to find but its a tastier, unadulterated version of Laird’s Applejack (which is cut with neutral spirits and as a result, is less flavorful). As ever, I like Cocchi’s Vermouth di Torino or Dolin Rouge for the red vermouth.

Okay, let’s get after it. I have a hangover to beat.

12:34pm Mixed one up with ingredients brought from home, stirred in a plastic cup from the coffee shop next door and strained into a wineglass. You make do with the resources in front of you, right?

12:36pm First sip, a substantial one. God, the coldness feels nice washing down the throat.

12:38pm Conor tries a sip. “That’s fire [he means this colloquially]! Where’s the alcohol burn on the back end? I don’t know but it’s not there. That’s what I wish cider would taste more like.”

12:40pm Several more sips, about halfway through the drink. I can feel the the temporal alteration of good liquor hitting bottom and easing the throb at my temples. This is such a smooth drinking cocktail.

12:42pm That relaxed, mildly boozy sensation. This grabs like a boat drink, a heady buzz. It might just be that I’m drinking in the bright sunshine. The stiffness in my neck has melted away … I issue a long sigh.

12:43pm Finished. Tasty.

12:49pm The sunshine is no longer garish to me. I used 1 oz as my part and Laird’s Straight AB is 100 proof, so this was not a weak drink, now that I’m thinking about it. Proof, by the way, is generally noted with a degree symbol, as in: 100º. I do not know why. It’s “option-key 0” to make that symbol on a Mac, if anyone is wondering. It took me some experimenting to find it.

12:59 I turn up the bluesy Taj Mahal album playing in the shop. It’s a good day. I’m gonna have some coffee, a bunch of water, maybe a sandwich. I’m not going to keep drinking, so this will all wear off in a little while, but right now I feel fine — pretty good even — if only for a time.

But then, that’s what an eye-opener does. It buys time. Time to hydrate, time to eat some decent food, time to picture your day and prepare. It’s calories and fluid that help cure hangovers, but mostly it’s time. And the Corpse Reviver #1 is time well spent.

Drink Well.


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