Corpse Reviver No.2 – Original 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book Recipe

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Lillet Blanc And It’s Substitutes

The official recipe uses Lillet Blanc but the Lillet Blanc we have today is fairly different from the Lillet Blanc Harry Craddock or Ian Fleming used. In 1985 the product line changed ownership and the recipe was reformulated to make it more appealing. The sweetness and bitterness of Lillet Blanc was reduced and resulted in a more modern flavor profile. That being said it still makes very good cocktails but a more accurate ingredient might be Cocchi Americano. Cocchi Americano is still a quinine infused, bitter sweet, white wine aperitif more similar to how Lillet Blanc used to taste before it was reformulated. My suggestion is to buy both and try making drinks with each and see which you like better. Hey maybe they changed it for the better. The two aperitifs are not too expensive either so buying a bottle of each is doable. Both taste of dried fruit, citrus, and honey but the difference is Lillet Blanc scales back the sweetness and bitterness where Cocchi Americano does not. I personally feel Lillet is better for sipping and Cocchi is better for mixing.

What Does The Corpse Reviver No.2 Taste Like

So the corpse reviver no.2 will taste different depending on if you use Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano. Again the two aperitifs taste similar but the corpse reviver no.2 made with Cocchi will have a very slight woody sweet bitterness to it the one made with Lillet will not. That woody sweet bitterness reminds me of tamarind. The corpse reviver no.2 is a wonderful balance of sweet and sour citrus, herbal and fruit flavors. The Lillet version will be a bit less sweet than the one made with Cocchi but the Cocchi one has a nice woody-ness the one made with Lillet lacks.

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.


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Corpse Reviver No.2 – Original 1934 Savoy Cocktail book Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: British






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Learn how to make a classic Corpse Reviver No.2.


  • 1 dash Absinthe

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano

  • 2/3 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 2/3 oz Dry Gin


  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.


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