Difford's Guide




195 calories

Styles & Flavours

Stinger image


Mint sprig

How to make:

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

2 fl oz Cognac
3/4 fl oz Giffard Menthe Pastille white crème de menthe


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


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 recipe appears in Jacques-Straub's 1914 book Drinks but as for its creator we turn to David Wondrich's 2015 Updated & Revised Imbibe which recounts a 1923 newspaper gossip page story crediting the invention of The Stinger to Reginald "Reggie" Vanderbilt, an American millionaire and father of fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt.

According to Wondrich, Reggie was a keen cocktail maker and "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 and "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."

So keen a cocktail maker was Reggie that he died from liver failure due to alcohol abuse on 4th September 1925.

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