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Friday, 26 October 2012

Classic Halloween Cocktails

We are seeing many modern cocktails this month, so it seems like a good time to take a quick break and see some classics. While there aren't any drinks specifically created for Halloween celebrations (or rather, any that survived the years in print), there are some with names that fit just fine with the holiday.

The most obvious of these are the "Corpse Revivers." This 'family' of cocktails dates back to the mid-late 1800's, and were designed to "revive the corpse" the morning after a night of heavy drinking. These cocktails bear little resemblance to each other aside from the name. It wasn't until Harry Craddock published his "Savoy Cocktail Book" in 1930 that any of these recipes showed up in print. The most popular is the "Corpse Reviver #2" (in my opinion the best of them), which you can read more about here in an old post.

Corpse Reviver #2
3/4oz gin
3/4oz lemon juice
3/4oz Lillet 
3/4oz Cointreau
Dash of absinthe

Combine all ingredients with ice, shake, and strain into a coupe.

Use Cocchi Americano instead of Lillet for better and more historically-accurate effect, as Lillet changed its recipe in the 1980's to a much sweeter version without the bitter flavour of quinine. It really makes a difference.
As for the absinthe, feel free to use pastis, Pernod, Herbsaint, or other suitable substitutions. The difference is not as noticeable as Cocchi/Lillet, but absinthe is also better and more accurate, so use it if you have it.

The other Corpse Revivers are much harder to come by. Searching in books or websites for #3 will bring you completely different ingredients, but I trust Robert Hess, who lists a recipe of equal parts brandy, Campari, and triple sec, with a 1/2 part of lemon juice. #1 is a more interesting drink, and one worth trying if you can get your hands on some applejack (which we can't in Canada):

Corpse Reviver #1
2oz brandy
1oz sweet vermouth
1oz applejack

Combine ingredients with ice, stir, and strain into a coupe.

"The Savoy Cocktail Book," one of the better historical drink books you will find, brings us another cocktail suitable for Halloween and different than the usual in that it contains orange juice: "Satan's Whiskers." There are two versions listed, the "Straight" using Grand Marnier, or the "Curled" using a different orange curacao (Cointreau or triple sec works just fine in this drink as well). It is similar to a Bronx cocktail, which is just gin, sweet and dry vermouth, and orange juice without the liqueur or bitters.

Satan's Whiskers
3/4oz gin
3/4oz sweet vermouth
3/4oz dry vermouth
1/2oz Grand Marnier (or other orange curacao)
1/2oz orange juice
Dash of orange bitters

Combine ingredients with ice, shake, and strain into a coupe.

Last up is the Zombie, a drink that has sparked many a debate over the years. The original was created in 1934 by Don the Beachcomber. Tiki drinks tend to contain a lot of ingredients, which fans the flames in the recipe debate. The modern go-to man for Tiki is Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, so I will list his recipe, and I will also list Martin Cate's from the best Tiki or rum bar I've ever been to - Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco. Martin's recipe is essentially the original. (For more ideas, Gary Regan, Dale Degroff, and Dr. Cocktail have all come up with recipes too).

Zombie (Jeff "Beachbum" Berry)
1oz lime juice
3/4oz pineapple juice
3/4oz papaya nectar
1/2oz applejack
1oz dark Jamaican rum (Myer's)
2oz Barbados rum (Mount Gay)
1oz light Puerto Rican rum (Brugal)
1/2oz 151 Demerara rum (Lemon Hart)

Shake everything with ice except the 151. Pour into a tall glass, fill with ice, and float the 151 on top. Garnish with a cocktail cherry, pineapple slice, and a sprig of mint if you desire. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Zombie (Martin Cate)
6oz crushed ice
3/4oz lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice
1/4oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
1.5oz Puerto Rican gold rum
1.5oz aged Jamaican rum
1oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum
1 teaspoon grenadine
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops of Pernod or Herbsaint

In a blender jar, add all ingredients and blend until slushy, about 2-3 seconds. Pour contents into a zombie or pint glass and add more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a sprig of mint.


The Fall Series:
You can see the series introduction here
and more terrible Halloween cocktails here
"Death & Oranges" by Donnie Wheeler
"Jones' Bitter Aperitif" by Evelyn Chick 
"The Satchmo" by Simon Ogden 
"Dark City" by Jay Jones
"The Giant Huntsman" by Lauren Mote
"The Bay Harbour Butcher" by Shaun Layton  
"A Nightmare On Juniper Street" by Shea Hogan 


[[ Photography by
smallscreennetwork.com - Corpse Reviver #1
understandingcocktails.com - Satan's Whiskers
tastingtable.com - Martin Cate's Zombie ]]

1 comment:

  1. I love the Corspe Reviver #2. It's a great drink. I've never had the right rums to make a real Zombie, though.

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