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Classic Stinger Cocktail Recipe: How to Make a Stinger

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Mar 24, 2020 • 1 min read

The Stinger is a lesser-known classic cocktail made with just two ingredients—brandy (often Cognac) and crème de menthe—served either neat in a cocktail glass or over ice in a rocks glass. The Stinger was historically served as an after-dinner drink or digestif, but it is now often served at any time of the day.

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History of the Stinger Cocktail

The Stinger cocktail was popular throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a high-society drink, especially in New York City. It was made especially vogue by millionaire Reginald Vanderbilt, according to David Wondrich’s cocktail cookbook Imbibe!, the millionaire Reginald Vanderbilt would spend three hours every day mixing Stingers for his guests during his home “cocktail hour.” The Stinger is also featured widely in film and literature—actor Cary Grant orders Stingers in films like Kiss Them for Me and The Bishop’s Wife, and even fictional spy James Bond drinks a Stinger in Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever.

5 Variations on the Stinger

  1. Vodka Stinger (or White Spider): Substitutes vodka for brandy
  2. Mexican Stinger: Substitutes tequila for brandy
  3. White Way: Substitutes gin for brandy
  4. Amaretto Stinger: Includes amaretto
  5. Irish Stinger: Includes Irish cream liqueur

Classic Stinger Recipe

Makes
1 cocktail
Prep Time
3 min
Total Time
3 min

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces brandy (traditionally cognac)
  • 1 ounce white crème de menthe (avoid green crème de menthe—the color will turn muddy)
  • Ice cubes
  1. Combine brandy, white crème de menthe, and ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over ice in a rocks glass. Serve cold.

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