The original Stinger contained equal parts of cognac (or brandy) and white crème de menthe. Yuck! I’d find that mix undrinkably sweet. Fortunately, it evolved into a much drier drink. By the 1920s, the accepted formula was probably 3 parts cognac to one part crème de menthe, which is a pretty good drink. Even better is 4 parts cognac to 1 part crème de menthe, which is the formula I prefer. But feel free to play around with the ratio to attain the flavor you find most pleasing.
Although the Stinger is usually made with white (clear) crème de menthe, some permutations substitute the green variety. This variation is called the Emerald, or so David A. Embury assures us in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. I’ve also seen it referred to as the Green Hornet. Robert Hess likes to call it the Holiday Stinger Cocktail. I prefer to make this drink with white crème de menthe, but don’t worry if you have only the green on hand. The color will be different, but the flavor will be the same.
This drink can be served either chilled and “up” in a cocktail glass, or poured over crushed ice in a rocks glass. The recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.
- 2 or 2¼ ounces of cognac (or brandy; use the first measure for a 4:1 ratio of cognac to crème de menthe, the second for a 3:1 ratio)
- ½ or ¾ ounce white crème de menthe (the first measure is for a 4:1 ratio, the second for a 3:1 ratio)
- fresh mint as a garnish (very optional and not traditional)
1. Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. (See Notes.) Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or so, until the drink is cold.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that has been chilled). Or strain into a rocks (old-fashioned) glass that has been filled with crushed ice.
3. Add a mint garnish if desired, and serve. If serving in a rocks glass, add a short straw.