In Italy, they're referred to as "booster shots;” in Finnish, a "repair kit." They are heavy-hitting potions made from bitters and spirits -- not champagne and OJ. You’ll find no raw eggs, nothing frothy or foamy or froufrou. Perhaps most importantly, these recipes are easy enough to assemble with shaking hands and bleary eyes. Garnishes optional.
Classic Corpse Reviver (#1)
The Corpse Reviver family of cocktails has its origins in the 1800s, with first published mention appearing around 1871. These were celebrated morning-after cocktails, spawning several well-documented variations, until their popularity evaporated into the dry days of the Prohibition. Happily, the Corpse Revivers have come back from the dead. This version, the classic #1, is easy to make and easy to consume.
- 1.5 ounces Brandy
- 0.75 ounce Calvados or other apple brandy
- 0.75 ounce sweet vermouth
- Cinnamon-sugared apple slice to garnish
Add all the ingredients except garnish to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain over ice into a glass. Garnish with apple slice if desired.
Hair of the Dog
This cocktail combines all the supposedly therapeutic qualities -- alcohol, citrus, and a gastric stimulant -- of the grand dame of “morning after” cocktails, the Bloody Mary, minus the thick and pulpy tomato juice and celery garnish. Because, let’s face it, if you’re in the throes of a horrible hangover, thick and pulpy are not your friends. And celery? Nope. Nope. Nope.
- 2 ounces gin
- 0.5 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 dashes hot sauce (I like Tabasco)
- Lemon slice to garnish
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt mixed with 1 teaspoon chili powder
Rub rim of glass with lemon wedge and dip into salt-chili powder mixture to coat. Combine the gin, lemon juice, and hot sauce in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice. Serve with lemon wedge garnish.
Fernet and Coke
This hangover helper happens to be the national cocktail of Argentina. It’s an easy-to-assemble concoction, which is a nice feature on those post-celebratory mornings when even shuffling to the fridge is an epic endurance event. Herbal bitters combine with sweet, caffeinated cola to settle the stomach and soothe the constitution. Salut!
- 1 ounce Fernet Branca
- 4 ounces Coca-cola
Pour Fernet over ice cubes in a tall glass. Slowly add Coke; stir gently with a bar spoon. Garnish with lemon twist, if desired.
Photos are courtesy of the author.