Stinger (cocktail)

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IBA Official Cocktail
Stinger Cocktail.jpg
Stinger cocktail served at Rye in San Francisco, California.
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
IBA specified ingredients*
  • 5cl cognac
  • 2cl white crème de menthe
Preparation Pour in a mixing glass with ice, stir and strain into a cocktail glass. May also be served on rocks in a rocks glass.
* Stinger recipe at International Bartenders Association

A stinger is a duo cocktail made by adding crème de menthe to a spirit.

The classic recipe is based on brandy and white crème de menthe, shaken and served in a cocktail glass. The origins of this drink are unclear, but it is mentioned in bartender's recipe books as far back as Tom Bullock's The Ideal Bartender, published in 1917.


Mixing brandy with green crème de menthe, in place of white, yields a Green Hornet.

A "vodka stinger" uses vodka instead of brandy.

The Kremlin Colonel is made with fresh mint instead of crème de menthe, making it similar to a mint julep using vodka in place of bourbon whiskey.

In popular culture[edit]

During the heyday of its popularity, the classic Stinger was considered an ideal "nightcap" for a night out in New York City. Dudley, the Angel, orders a round of Stingers while lunching with ladies from the church in the 1947 Cary Grant and David Niven film The Bishop's Wife. In the 1956 Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra film High Society, Gordon Richards, in his role as Dexter-Haven's butler, makes Stingers available at luncheon to those unfortunates who over-indulged in champagne in the previous evening's party as the proverbial "hair of the dog". James Bond and Tiffany Case each have a Stinger in the 1956 novel Diamonds are Forever. In Ian Fleming's 1961 novel Thunderball (novel), James Bond and his friend Felix Leiter drink Stingers while waiting at the casino in chapter fifteen.

An episode of The Whistler radio drama titled "Guilty Conscience", first aired on September 9, 1951, featured a high society party where the host and guests order Stingers from the butler and make several references to their intoxicating strength.

The 1957 Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield film Kiss Them for Me features several scenes where the main characters enjoy Stinger cocktails. The Stinger is also mentioned in various scenes during the 1960 film The Apartment. In the 1983 film Gorky Park, detective Arkady Renko refers to the Stinger as a "whore's drink" and later orders a Stinger and says, "I am a whore."

In the 1988 film Beaches, Bette Midler's character Cecilia Carol "C.C." Bloom orders a Stinger twice. The drink is also featured in the 2009 Mad Men episode "Love Among the Ruins", set in 1963, when a man buys Peggy Olson a Stinger at a bar.

The variation that substitutes vodka for brandy was referenced in the 1970 musical Company:

Another chance to disapprove,
another brilliant zinger.
Another reason not to move,
another vodka Stinger !

— "The Ladies Who Lunch" (lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)

In Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison (1966), a science fiction novel which portrays a future dystopia; the book of the film Soylent Green, the main characters Andy Rush and Sol discuss the origin of the name for the cocktail (they have no idea). Andy Rush: "Why do they call them Gibsons? A secret lost behind the mists of time. Why is a Stinger a Stinger or a Pink Lady a Pink Lady?"

Morris Ankrum's character Lloyd Barnes orders a Stinger in the 1950 film In a Lonely Place.

In The Big Clock, the 1948 film-noir classic starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Sullivan, the belated honeymoon toast between Mr. and Mrs. Stroud is raised with glasses of Stingers.

In the 1998 video game Metal Gear Solid, Nastasha Romanenko mentions that the Stinger is her favourite cocktail (she also points out that her favourite book is a thriller also called Stinger and her favourite weapon is the Stinger missile launcher).

In an episode of Family Guy, Brian Griffin orders a vodka Stinger with a whiskey back once he feels the scorn of Lois for tampering with Peter in an ill-fated attempt to make him more sociably elite.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]