Corpse Reviver No.1 | 1934 Savoy – Oldest Known Recipe

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See our affiliate policy for more info.

History Of The Corpse Reviver No.1

While the corpse reviver dates back to the mid 1800s there is no real solid recipe for it till the 1930s. It is casually mentioned in publications during the 1800s but Harry Craddock from the American Bar at the Savoy is the first to write down a solid recipe for it. Even though the Savoy Cocktail Book was published in 1934 it is a collection of the bars recipes dating from the 1890s to the 1930s, so the recipe could be from the 1800s. Also there is no similarity to this and the corpse reviver no.2 other than the name. The Corpse Reviver is said to be able to revive a dead body its because of its strength, but its actually a very good and balanced cocktail.

The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London

Opened in 1893 The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American style cocktails in London to the British upperclass. The American Bar has always been a high end bar but what really set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became it’s head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high end hotel bars, but Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the american prohibition was coming to an end the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar and a year later they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934 The Savoy Cocktail Book documents all of the bars best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era, European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there though. A cocktail cost around $250 there and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

What Does The Corpse Reviver No.1 Taste Like

This is an incredible cocktail. It taste like a fruit flavored Manhattan instead of the normal wood and spice flavors of a normal Manhattan. The pairing of equal parts apple brandy with sweet vermouth is spot on too. It replaces the spicy woody flavors of the angostura bitters with cherry and orange liqueurs that mix well with its apple brandy base. If you like manhattans then this is a definite must. In fact you may end up liking it more.


Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Corpse Reviver No.1 – Oldest Known Recipe | 1934 Savoy Recipe

3 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the oldest known Corpse Reviver No.1 recipe from the 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book.


  • 1 dash Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz Apple Brandy


  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.


1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *