There are a few recipes that survive, mainly thanks to Henry Craddock' The Savoy Cocktail Book, first published in 1930. As Mr. Craddock states in his book, "[the Corpse Reviver is] to be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed."
The most popular corpse reviver variation is Corpse Reviver No. 2, which is a gin and cointreau-based drink. Thanks to Eric at the Underhill Lounge*, I learned about variation No. 1 and it looked rather nice, albeit hardly what I'd call a morning pick-me-up.
Corpse Reviver No. 1
Combine in an iced mixing glass:
- 2 ounces brandy
- 1 ounce Calvados
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- dash of Angostura bitters (not in the original recipe but recommended by Eric)
* Eric is mixing every drink in The Savoy Cocktail Book, from Abbey to Zed. If you're looking for cocktail inspiration, visit the Lounge. At the time of this writing, he was up to the Dunhill Cocktail.