Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: a Stinger

To introduce us to this week's featured cocktail, let's turn to "Vintage Cocktails: Authentic Recipes and Illustrations from 1920 to 1960":

For our Friday Happy Hours at Rogers Park Retro, we are all about casting a spotlight on vintage cocktails and giving them a chance to shine! We have an ulterior motive, too: these are some of our favorite drinks. Well, with this week's post, that ulterior motive doesn't apply. We regret to tell you that, despite its alluring name, we are solidly in the camp of "hate it" in this "love-it-or-hate-it cocktail." Well, that's a first! But, this isn't about us. This is about giving the Stinger its due (which it deserves) and keeping to our mission of giving these drinks their moment in the spotlight. The Stinger is easy to make, and requires only two ingredients, but they have to be precise: brandy and white (the clear kind) creme de menthe. Not green creme de menthe. This drink is so classic (or maybe so unpopular) that its recipe hasn't been changed (meaning, no one bothers with it) at all over the years. The classic Stinger calls for a 1:1 ratio of the brandy and the creme de menthe. Here's a recipe from our 1930's era booklet from Mohawk Liquors:

We should duly note that they call for the garnish of a lemon peel. Hmmm .... Here's another take from our 1950s era "Old Forrester Favorite Recipes":

Now, here they do experiment with the proportions, calling for 2 parts brandy to 1 part creme de menthe. They keep the lemon twist. But, enough editorializing. It's an undisputed classic drink. Try it for yourself. Tastes vary from person to person, and from era to era. One person's cough syrup may taste good to someone else, just like a Stinger might be just the tonic for someone coughing up one of their lungs. Or, maybe it's going to be your new favorite drink!

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