Friday Happy Hour: A Pair of Corpse Revivers

Alcohol and medicine have a long history together.  Once upon a time, cocktails were not considered refreshments.  Instead, for much of their history, the first cocktails were consumed as tonics for all sorts of ailments, and bitters were first sold as medicine until someone very wise passed a law allowing only medicine to be sold as medicine.  Going back much farther, we find that many of the words for liquors – whiskey, eau de vie, akvavit, and so on – all mean the same thing, “water of life.”  Our ancestors knew what was what.  Here are two classic cocktails, the Corpse Reviver No. 1 and No. 2, that were designed to cure (and probably caused their fair share of) the dreaded hangover.

Read below for the full recipes!

Corpse Reviver #1

1 1/2 oz Brandy
3/4 oz Calvados or Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth

Stir the ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass (if you have the wherewithal to chill a cocktail glass when you need one of these) and twist a piece of lemon peel over top.


This recipe will definitely wake you up: it has some sweetness from the vermouth and a nice vanilla accent from the brandy, but the calvados helps make this drink sharp and bracing. Harry Craddock, from whose 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book I borrowed this recipe, said that this drink was “to be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.”

Corpse Reviver #2

3/4 oz Dry Gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (we used Dolin Blanc)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 Dash Absinthe

Combine all the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This one is less bracing and more refreshing than the first: sweet and citrusy from the Cointreau and lemon juice, with complex botanical notes from the gin, floral notes from the Dolin Blanc, and a wake-up call of anise from the absinthe, this drink will wake you up if you need it.  Craddock warned that “four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”


Both of these cocktails date back to a time before there was Advil or Aleve, and before there were any Starbucks with 24 hour drive-through windows.  Taste or ingredient-wise, they don’t have much in common, but they fall into the same mismatched family of drinks called corpse revivers, or bracers, or eye openers, or morning glories, or…you get the picture.  So don’t feel guilty if you have one of these with breakfast – just tell any scandalized onlookers that you’re taking part in a long and rich tradition of corpse revival.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

{happy weekend!}

Wow, Friday already?!  Although this week has mostly flown by, I’ve been feeling a little run down and uninspired these last few days, so I’m looking forward to a mostly quiet weekend.  And while we’ve had the mildest winter I’ve ever experienced in DC, I can’t wait for spring.  Spring in DC is such an inspiring time of year with all of the cherry blossoms, daffodils, and my favorite – lilacs.  Sigh.  But in the meantime…

Photo Credit: Yours Is The Earth

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

As usual, we have a fun cocktail coming up for you this afternoon, so check back a bit later for the recipe!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday!  xoxo

Letterpress Love Prints from JSGD

These love prints from JSGD are so sweet – and just in time for Valentine’s Day, although I think they’d be perfect for a loved one any time of the year.  Both are letterpress printed in gold ink, while the “ily” print also comes in a few other colors.  So cute!


Check out the full collection at JSGD – thanks Martha!

Photo Credits: JSGD

Pretty Paper in the Office: Aqua + Gold

The season of celebration has come and gone. This is the time of year when we wait out the thaw, daydreaming of far off lands, clear blue waters and golden beaches. While a few of us are lucky enough to make those dreams come true, I thought I’d try and help out the rest of us with this month’s round-up. With those tranquil retreats of water and sand as my inspiration, I’ve put together a few aqua and gold goodies for the office. Granted it won’t help you with your tan, but hopefully it will make your workspace a little sunnier!

Aqua and gold office round up

No. 1 Wide washi tape from Little Happy Things; No. 2 Gold mini binder by Russell + Hazel; No. 3 Apple noteset by Sugar Paper; No. 4 Aqua paper bowl by Up in the Air Somewhere; No. 5 Aqua envelope seals from Keeley Behling Studios; No. 6 Gold dots customized journal by Bartlett & Craft

Aqua and gold office stationery

With all the lovely things going on your desk, it would be nice to have something just as lovely inside, don’t you think?  I really love these scented chevron drawer liners by Hammocks & High Tea.  You could also try sheets of fine paper, like this gold waves print from Paper Source.  A little really does go a long way. You’ll be surprised by the difference a surprise print like this can make!

{images via their respective sources}

Letterpress Stationery and Artwork from Paper Parasol Press

I’m loving these new card designs from Cindy at Paper Parasol Press in Chicago, Illinois.  The new collection is inspired by Cindy’s unique line work and illustration, as well as unique color combinations, overprinting and pattern.  In addition to the new greeting card designs, Cindy is also working on some limited edition state prints like the Illinois print below!

From CindyI am also still working on limited edition prints, including this 5×7″ Illinois print.  The state design is inspired by Polish Wycinanki paper art and my small wood-type collection.

Thanks Cindy!

Photo Credits: Paper Parasol Press