Corpse Reviver No.1 – Oldest Known Recipe

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Corpse Reviver #1

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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 1 dash Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 dashes 2 dashes Orange Bitters

  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Sweet Vermouth

  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Apple Brandy


  • Technique: Simple Stir
  • Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Add ice to the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds. Try to avoid over-diluting the drink.
  • Strain into a glass.


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The History Of The Corpse Reviver #1.

While the corpse reviver dates back to the mid-1800s, there was no authentic solid recipe until 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. 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 revive a dead body because of its strength, but it’s a perfect and balanced cocktail.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its 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. Still, 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 ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s 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 #1 Taste Like?

This is an incredible cocktail. It tastes like a fruit-flavored Manhattan instead of a typical Manhattan’s standard wood and spice flavors. The pairing of equal parts apple brandy with sweet vermouth is spot on. 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. You may end up liking it more.

Recipe Resources

Tools Used:

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One response to “Corpse Reviver No.1 – Oldest Known Recipe”

  1. […] gives a great history of the drink and Harry Craddock, the bartender credited with putting the drink in The Savoy Cocktail Book. The recipe listed in the article is from the 1934 version of the book. We used the recipe from more closely resembles the recipe the 1930 version of the book. […]

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