Stinger

Difford's Guide
User Rating (7 ratings)

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Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Garnish:

Mint sprigs bouquet

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into glass filled with crushed ice. Serve with a straw.

Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Review:

Classically the Stinger is shaken and served straight-up in a chilled coupe. However, I think it makes for a more refreshing peppermint and brandy digestif when served over crushed ice.

Variant:

Vodka Stinger
In his 1948 The Fine art of Mixing Drinks, David A. Embury writes, "The usual recipe for this drink calls for brandy and white crème de menthe in equal parts. If green crème de menthe is used it is known as the Emerald. The Emerald with a dash of red pepper added is called the Devil. Embury goes on to say that the Stinger can "easily be transformed into a dry and very palatable cocktail" with the following recipe:
"Dry Stinger
1 part Lime juice
2 parts White crème de menthe
6 parts Brandy
Shake with finely crushed ice and strain into chilled and frosted glass."

History:

In the 1956 American musical comedy film High Society, Bing Crosby explains to Grace Kelly how the Stinger gained its name. "It's a Stinger. It removes the sting."

The Stinger appears in Jacques Straub's 1913 Straub's Manual of Mixed Drinks but owes its popularity during the 1920's to Reginald "Reggie" Vanderbilt, an American millionaire and father of fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt.

In his 2015 Updated & Revised Imbibe David Wondrich recounts a 1923 newspaper gossip page story crediting the invention of The Stinger to Reggie, a keen cocktail maker who "was observed in all its pomp and glory in the bar of [his] home, and he himself was the high priest, the host, the mixer." The bar in his Fifth Avenue mansion was apparently modelled after the one in the William the Conqueror tavern in Normandy. The article claims "the 'Stinger' was his own invention, a short drink with a long reach, a subtle blending of ardent nectars, a boon to friendship, a dispeller of care."

Reggie's enthusiasm for cocktails, particularly the Stinger helped contribute to his death from liver failure on 4th September 1925.

Similar cocktails, under various names, date back to 1890 when Reggie was only ten. That said, the name Stinger, after the boxing term for a jab to the head, only emerged in 1913 and although a bartender named James B. Regan at New York's Knickerbocker Hotel is implicated, I like to believe that Reggie didn't just adopt the Stinger as his own but also christened it.

STINGER
½ Jigger Brandy.
½ Jigger Creme de Menthe White.
1 Lemon Peel.
Shake, strain into Cocktail Glass.

Jacques Straub, 1913

Nutrition:

One serving of Stinger contains 195 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.8 standard drinks
  • 30.2% alc./vol. (60.4° proof)
  • 24.9 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from
Difford's Guide
Easy Jigger
Easy Jigger
£10.05 £10.05 exc VAT

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