Corpse Reviver, Re-Revisited

Danger! Cocktail Recipe Geekery Ahead!

One of the things that has been puzzling me lately is the relationship between the James Beard edited version of Patrick Duffy’s “The Official Mixer’s Manual” and the 1948 edition of “Bartender’s Guide…by Trader Vic”.

There are a number of recipes which both books share that are sort of unusual. The Corpse Reviver with Swedish Punsch and the Aviation with Apricot Brandy come to mind.

Initially, in the “Corpse Reviver, Revisited” post, I suggested probably Beard, or some other earlier editor of Duffy made these changes, and Trader Vic then replicated them.

Turns out, it may have been the other way around.

Doubleday published* both the 1947 edition of “Bartender’s Guide…” and editions of “The Official Mixer’s Manual” from 1948 onwards.

I asked around a bit and while talking to Ted Haigh, he mentioned that Duffy’s “Official Mixer’s Manual” didn’t get expanded and revised until Beard’s edition in the 1960s. The last Copyright date on my Duffy/Beard is 1958, but it contains information on wine vintages up until 1961.

So it seems like these changes to the vintage recipes came from the Trader Vic book, and then were carried forward when Beard edited Duffy.

For what it is worth, it looks like Stan Jones’, in his “Jones Complete Bar Guide”, also got much of his corpus of pre-prohibition cocktails from the 1947/48 Trader Vic. Though he altered many of the recipes.

So while I still puzzle over the addition of Apricot Brandy to the Aviation, I may have Victor Bergeron to thank for the delicious, and kind of tropical tasting, Corpse Reviver No. 2 with Swedish Punsch.

*The Trader Vic I have is from 1948 and published by Garden City Books, but at the beginning it sez,”Garden City Reprint Edition, 1948, by special arrangement with Doubleday & Company, Inc., Copyright, 1947, By Doubleday & Company, Inc.”