I realized that among all of the cocktails I have blogged about, the Stinger was conspicuously absent. Strange, too, because the Stinger is in that great pantheon of classic cocktails and I love the classics. Well, no time like the present to make up for this obvious inequity…

The Stinger is what is referred to as a “Duo” cocktail, meaning that it is composed of only two ingredients, one of which is always white Crème de Menthe. The classic Stinger uses Brandy, or Cognac if you prefer (I prefer) as the primary spirit. Other notable Stingers include the Vodka Stinger, obviously replacing the Brandy with Vodka. I tried a Whiskey Stinger – best advice here is to leave it alone…

If you only have the usual green Crème de Menthe, than you can make yourself what is called a Green Hornet, which is actually slightly less green if you use Brandy as the primary spirit. Much greener with Vodka…

Stingers date back to pre-Prohibition days and were considered something of a night cap or “settler” after an evening’s carousing. According to Esquire magazine, they were also the preferred cocktail of returning fighter pilots from WWII. I suspect the tingle of peppermint provided the missing excitement of aerial combat.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Stinger:

3 oz. Brandy (I use VSOP Cognac)

1 oz. White Crème de Menthe

Combine the ingredients and shake vigorously with crushed ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry, if desired.