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Introduction to the Stinger Cocktail

The Stinger is a cocktail that exudes elegance and simplicity. With its harmonious blend of cognac and white crème de menthe, this drink is a timeless classic. Its origins trace back to the early 20th century, offering a glimpse into the sophisticated nightlife of the past.

Perfect as an after-dinner drink, the Stinger provides a refreshing minty twist to the deep, rich flavors of cognac. This cocktail is not just a beverage; it’s an experience that transports you to a bygone era of class and refinement.

Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a newcomer to the world of mixed drinks, the Stinger is a must-try. Its balance of flavors makes it a versatile choice for various occasions, from formal events to a quiet night at home.

Key Facts About the Stinger

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 22%
  • Calories: Approximately 150
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Typical Garnish: None, to preserve the cocktail’s simplicity

Interesting Facts about the Stinger

  • The Stinger was a favorite among high society in the 1920s, often enjoyed during the Prohibition era.
  • It’s one of the few classic cocktails that uses brandy or cognac as a base.
  • Traditionally, the Stinger is served without ice to prevent dilution of its distinct flavors.

Stinger Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes on the Stinger

The Stinger cocktail is a study in contrasts: the warmth of cognac meets the cool, refreshing taste of mint. This drink is smooth, with a lingering sweetness that’s never overpowering. It’s a sophisticated choice that appeals to those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Its minty undertones make it an excellent choice for after-dinner sipping, aiding in digestion and cleansing the palate. The Stinger is also a popular choice during the holiday season, when its festive flavors can be fully appreciated.

For those who enjoy a cocktail with a rich history and a smooth, minty finish, the Stinger is an impeccable choice. It’s a drink that suits intimate gatherings and moments of quiet contemplation alike.

History of the Stinger

The Stinger’s origins are somewhat mysterious, but it’s widely accepted that the cocktail made its debut in the early 1900s. It quickly became associated with the upper crust of society, a staple in exclusive clubs and speakeasies.

One popular anecdote suggests that the Stinger was the preferred nightcap of Reginald Vanderbilt, the father of fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt. This association with high society helped cement the Stinger’s status as a drink of the elite.

Throughout the years, the Stinger has maintained its reputation as a sophisticated and timeless cocktail. Its simplicity and elegance have kept it on the menus of the world’s finest bars to this day.

Stinger Ingredients

  • Cognac (1 1/2 oz or 45 ml): The backbone of the Stinger, cognac provides a rich, complex flavor that’s essential to the cocktail’s character.
  • White Crème de Menthe (1/2 oz or 15 ml): This mint-flavored liqueur adds a refreshing sweetness and a clean finish to the drink.
  • Ice Cubes: Used in the mixing process to chill the ingredients without diluting the flavors.

Did you know? The Stinger is often associated with the post-dinner conversation, believed to stimulate dialogue and digestion.

Stinger Cocktail Ingredients

Stinger Method

Chilling the Glass

Begin by placing a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill. A cold glass will ensure the Stinger maintains its optimal temperature and texture.

Combining the Ingredients

Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Measure and pour the cognac and white crème de menthe over the ice. The ice serves to chill the liquids quickly while providing minimal dilution.


Using a bar spoon, stir the ingredients together for about 30 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also helps to marry the flavors of the cognac and crème de menthe.


Once well-chilled, strain the mixture into the pre-chilled cocktail glass. Straining prevents ice shards from entering the drink, ensuring a smooth sipping experience.

Serving Suggestion for the Stinger

The Stinger is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, which helps to maintain the drink’s temperature and concentrate its aromas. No garnish is needed, keeping the focus on the cocktail’s pure flavors.

If preferred, the Stinger can also be served over ice in a rocks glass. This method is ideal for those who enjoy a less intense flavor or a longer sipping experience.

Elevating the Stinger

  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for a high-quality cognac and a premium white crème de menthe to enhance the drink’s flavor profile.
  • Stirring Technique: A gentle, consistent stirring motion ensures proper chilling and dilution, which is key to the Stinger’s texture.
  • Temperature Control: Serve the Stinger immediately after mixing to enjoy its flavors at the ideal temperature.

Elevated Stinger Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Stinger

If cognac is not available, a good quality brandy can be used as a substitute. While the flavor profile will change slightly, the essence of the Stinger will remain intact.

For those who prefer a less sweet drink, a dry curaçao or an orange liqueur can be used in place of white crème de menthe. This will add a citrusy twist to the classic recipe.

Similar cocktails that share the Stinger’s characteristics include the Mint Julep and the Brandy Alexander. These drinks also balance herbal or sweet notes with a strong spirit base.

Add a Twist to the Stinger

For a modern take on the Stinger, consider infusing the cognac with vanilla or other spices. This will add depth and complexity to the drink’s flavor.

Another variation is to use a flavored crème de menthe, such as chocolate or coffee. These flavors can complement the cognac and add an unexpected twist to the cocktail.

Experiment with garnishes, such as a sprig of fresh mint or a twist of lemon peel, to add visual appeal and a hint of additional flavor.

Preferred Liquors for the Stinger

When crafting a Stinger, opt for a VSOP or XO cognac for their nuanced flavors and smooth finish. Brands like Hennessy, Rémy Martin, and Courvoisier are excellent choices.

For the white crème de menthe, look for brands that use real mint extract and avoid artificial flavors. This will ensure a clean, natural taste in your cocktail.

Similar Cocktails to the Stinger

If you enjoy the Stinger, you might also appreciate the Grasshopper, which features crème de menthe with the addition of crème de cacao. The result is a mint-chocolate flavor that’s both refreshing and indulgent.

The Sidecar is another cognac-based classic that offers a citrusy counterpart to the Stinger’s minty profile. It’s a great option for those who enjoy sour cocktails.

The Brandy Alexander, with its blend of brandy, dark crème de cacao, and cream, offers a creamy, dessert-like alternative to the Stinger’s crispness.

Food Pairings to Go with the Stinger

Classic pairings with the Stinger include chocolate desserts, which complement the minty notes of the cocktail. Dark chocolate truffles or a rich chocolate mousse are excellent choices.

For a savory option, consider pairing the Stinger with aged cheeses or charcuterie. The bold flavors of the cognac stand up well to strong, umami-rich foods.

Stinger FAQs

Can I make a Stinger with green crème de menthe? While white crème de menthe is traditional, green can be used for a sweeter taste and a colorful presentation.

Is the Stinger a strong cocktail? Yes, with a high alcohol content from the cognac, it’s a potent drink best enjoyed slowly.

How can I make a non-alcoholic Stinger? Substitute the cognac with a non-alcoholic brandy alternative and use a mint syrup in place of crème de menthe.

What’s the best time to serve a Stinger? It’s an ideal after-dinner drink, perfect for sipping and aiding in digestion.

Can I batch prepare Stingers for a party? Yes, mix the ingredients in advance and stir with ice just before serving to ensure freshness.



The Stinger is a classic cocktail that combines the warmth of cognac with the cool minty flavor of crème de menthe. It's a sophisticated after-dinner drink that dates back to the early 20th century.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Calories 150 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass


  • 1 1/2 oz Cognac
  • 1/2 oz White Crème de Menthe
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the cognac and white crème de menthe over the ice.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well-chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.


The Stinger can be served over ice in a rocks glass for a less intense flavor. It's best enjoyed slowly to savor the interplay of cognac and mint.
Keyword After-Dinner Drink, Classic Cocktail, Cognac, Crème de Menthe, Mint, Stinger

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