Dry Stinger – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Another of the better-known brandy drinks is the STINGER. The usual recipe for this drink calls for brandy and white creme de menthe in equal parts. If green creme de menthe is used it is known as the EMERALD. The Emerald with a dash of red pepper added is called the DEVIL. Where the half-and-half formula is used the Stinger, like the Coffee, is not a true cocktail. It can, however, easily be transformed into a dry and very palatable cocktail similar to the Miami (see page 119), except that brandy is used in place of rum. 


1 part Lime Juice 

2 parts White Creme de Menthe 

6 parts Brandy 

Shake with finely crushed ice and strain into chilled and frosted glasses.

This is just David Embury being Stubborn.

A Stinger has been around since the 1890’s, and features in most cocktail books since then, its is a ‘duo’ drink, that is one consisting of only two ingredients, which according to law in the UK means it isn’t a ‘cocktail’. Its always been seen as something of a ‘society’ drink, although ironically doesn’t appear in the Waldorf guide, and was only consumed by the upper classes until it ceased being fashionable in the 70’s and has vanished from most lists. A Stinger is really just the crème de menthe and brandy, and normally in a ratio of 3-1 ensuring it’s a long way from sweet, and I guess flavour wise ends up somewhere between a julep and an old fashioned. You can make stingers with any other spirit, and then you just prefix the name of the spirit on front. Rum and vodka stingers have turned up in pop culture, namely Bond films and Mad Men and I think that if it wasn’t so liqueur heavy, and a little simple in construction it should sell much better now than it does.

Embury obviously hadn’t played around of the proportions while not using citrus, and instead of just toning down the sweet, added in citrus to dry the drink out, and make it more palatable, its really very nice, super easy to drink, and very refreshing.

I think that this summer is going to be one of mint, its refreshing, and I’m really developing a liking for it.