With the latest season of The Walking Dead in high gear and the launch of The Walking Dead wines, it's the perfect time to discuss two things: A) zombies, and B) drinking themed cocktails like the Corpse Reviver.

The Corpse Reviver was originally developed to help with hangovers. I don't know what sadistic madman created the original, but it's a boozy blend of Cognac and apple brandy; not exactly what I want to drink while fighting off a liquor-induced headache. The Corpse Reviver No. 2, however, is a delightfully zesty and refreshing cocktail. Its best feature, aside from having absolutely nothing in common with its older brother, is acidity. This feature allows the Corpse Reviver No. 2 to pair with more than just badass zombie shows; it works well with a wide variety of foods.

The best match my zombie-watching friends and I have come across thus far are kielbasas piled high with spicy mustard and a carrot-caraway salad. The subtly spicy and juicy, pork and beef kielbasas with 30 percent fat content were sourced from Cannibal, a new butcher and beer garden in Murray Hill. The spicy carrot and caraway salad was courtesy of Wine & Spirits' Carson Demmond. Her mix of finely grated carrots, chopped garlic, caraway seeds, salt and crushed red pepper, drizzled and tossed with olive oil was the perfect way to bring this pairing together.

The anise flavor in the absinthe gained depth and became savory with the addition of caraway, while the herbaceous qualities of the gin brought out the spices and slight gaminess in the sausages. All the while, the lemony acidity cleaned up the fat, making the kielbasa feel light and mouthwatering.

Zombies aside, try to re-create this. It's delicious. If anyone comes up with a better pairing, be sure to let me know.

Corpse Reviver No. 2:

  • 1 oz. gin (I used Nolet's for its red-fruit character)
  • 1 oz. Cointreau1 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 healthy dash of absinthe (I used Kübler for its sweet and aromatic anisette quality)
  • Shake with plenty of ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

And if you'd rather just pop open a bottle of vino instead of breaking out the shaker, be sure to check out our new The Walking Dead wine series, featuring reds based on the characters of Rick, Daryl and Negan.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisHallowell.