We reinvent ourselves all the time. Not intentionally, necessarily, it just happens as we grow. Growing up. Growing older. Growing wiser, hopefully. Growth is the driver for who we will become. We mostly don’t notice it, but when you look back over your life it is easy to see the people we were, the lives we have discarded when they no longer fit, as we have grown into something more. This is usually a good thing, but every once in a while, we lose a piece of ourselves in the transition and we wish we could have that part back, if just for a moment. That’s how nostalgia works. So, with a nod to those shadows on the cave wall of who we were, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Cadaver Reviver.

This one is a riff on the Savoy version of the classic Corpse Reviver No. 2 created by Simon Difford for his menu at London’s Cabinet Room in 2017. The switch from gin to tequila pushes this one toward a Margarita or Tequila Daisy. Of course, this makes it sort of an odd choice for a Halloween menu, but I figure we can lean into the creepy name and just enjoy the drink for what it is. Of course, we will never know how the other ingredients affect the flavor till we make it, so why not do that now?

Grab your tins and pop in 3/4 of an ounce of tequila, I chose Lunazul Reposado; 3/4 of an ounce of Triple Sec, 3/4 of an ounce of Lillet Blanc, 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2 dashes of absinthe, I went with St. George Absinthe Verte. Add some artisanal ice and give it a good shake to the beat of “Lazarus” off David Bowie’s final album. When well shaken, double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

Like the best variations, this one works, but in an unexpected way. With the tequila and triple sec base it obviously leans toward a margarita, but the fortified wine thing from the Lillet caries it in a different direction and those splashes of absinthe are surprisingly forward, to give this an herbal finish, in the best possible way. It reminds me of the Kräuter Sauer in the way it transforms slowly as it warms up. Definitely an interesting take on the original and well worth making.

Looking backward seems to be a theme for me lately. That’s not unusual, it is autumn, the proper time for my yearly accounting of who I meant to be and whether I got closer to that goal. Still working on getting better and being kinder. This year, like most, I have made strides forward and had steps backward, that’s how it goes I guess. As the year winds down, I always feel that synchronicity with that longer journey we are all on. That gnawing reminder that there are likely more summers in the rearview mirror now than in the windshield. It’s also a time when objects in that mirror feel even closer than they appear. Memories rush in and I hear that clock ticking. I feel that urgency to get out and live as much as possible. To make big mistakes and do everything a little larger than life. You’d think I would learn, but it’s the same every year. You can just about check the calendar to see what I am going to be thinking about, to find what troubles my mind when sleep won’t come. It’s a shame, but as much as I have learned, I am often trapped in those same cycles. Year after year, I’ll stage my own internal revival. When I drag out the body of who I used to be and wear it for a day or two, worrying about the things that kept that guy up at night. Knowing full well that not only does his armor not fit me anymore, but he was just tilting at windmills anyway, like Don Quixote, or was it Noel Harrison?

There is nothing wrong with nostalgia. I love it, in fact. I can sit for hours going down memory lane with friends or just looking through photographs of the way we were. That’s the good kind, the kind we need more of. As for that other version, the one where we revive those old fears and imagined shortcomings of yesterday, we can leave those right where they belong, firmly buried in the past. So, shake off those cobwebs and smile for those days gone by then turn your face toward the sun, cause there’s a lot of living left to do. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.