After a rough night of drinking, you are going to need something bold to get you back into he swing of things. Most people will suggest a little "hair of the dog" is the right solution. It does reduce the effects a little, but you are really just delaying the inevitable. But before the days of all the nutritional science we have now and full understanding of what alcohol does to the body, this was one hell of an idea. We are also talking about a time that people would drink from dawn until dusk and think nothing of it. Prohibition is one thing that grew out of this culture; even Europeans were shocked about how much Americans drank, and they were not teetotalers. The other thing was groups of drinks that were supposed to pull you out of your drunken stupor. Something to revive the mind and body, if you will.
The Corpse Revivers that existed before the 18th Amendment were powerful drinks. They were well crafted cocktails that were designed to snap you out of that fog of hangover you were surely suffering from. Of the several dozen rumored to exist before Prohibition, only a handful survived. Of that handful, there are only a few you can find recipes for. The most common one is known as Corpse Reviver #2. It is a mixture of gin, lemon juice, Lilet, and Cointreau with a splash of absinthe. The absinthe gives it some extra oomph on the nose, but not overwhelming on the palate. Number three is more difficult to create, mainly because no two recipes you can find are the same. Some call for it to be layered, some make it close to the number two version with some changes, some make it closer to an amped up Stinger. I just depends on where you look. Corpse Reviver #1, combines the rarity of number three with a solid recipe like number two. And it packs a bigger kick.
Corpse Reviver #1 (from The Savoy Cocktail Book)
2 parts cognac
1 part Cavaldos (or other apple brandy)
1 part Italian vermouth
Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing tin. Add ice, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Nurse your hangover in peace.
I have no idea how this will help a hangover. It is more likely to give you a bigger one. It is a well balanced cocktail, with sweet and tart rolling around the tongue. I would not mind enjoying one in the evening. Maybe two. After that I might switch to something else. In The Savoy Cocktail version of the recipe, the lone note is "To be taken before 11 AM, or whenever steam and energy are needed." It is anyone's guess how long that energy is going to keep you running.