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The Stinger cocktail, an elegant and timeless drink, has a rich history that intertwines with the lives of two prominent figures in the world of mixology during the early 20th century: Jacques Straub and Reginald Vanderbilt. This iconic drink, known for its simplicity and sophistication, has remained a favorite among connoisseurs and cocktail enthusiasts for decades.
Jacques Straub, a Swiss-born bartender, and mixologist, played a significant role in the creation and popularization of the Stinger cocktail. Straub immigrated to the United States then became a sommelier and manager of the famous “Pendennis Club” in Louisville, Kentucky, and continued working in prestigious bars and hotels. He soon gained recognition for his creativity and innovative approach to cocktail-making.
The origins of the Stinger cocktail can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it first appeared in Straub’s seminal work, “Drinks,” published in 1914. The simplicity of its ingredients, comprising only cognac and crème de menthe, brought a new sophisticated taste and refined experience.
Reginald Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in American high society during the early 20th century, played a vital role in popularizing the Stinger cocktail. Known for his extravagant lifestyle and love for the finer things in life, Vanderbilt’s association with the drink helped elevate its status among the elite circles of New York City and beyond.
The Stinger cocktail soon became a favorite among the upper echelons of society, who frequented the most exclusive bars and social gatherings. The stinger’s cool, refreshing taste, made it an ideal choice for sophisticated evenings. Vanderbilt’s endorsement of the Stinger added an aura of prestige to the drink, leading to its widespread adoption in high-society events and cocktail parties across the nation.
During the 1920s, the Prohibition era posed a significant challenge to the thriving cocktail culture. However, the Stinger managed to survive the dry period, primarily due to its straightforward recipe that could be prepared even In the most secret bars and meeting places.
With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the Stinger experienced a resurgence in popularity. Bars and lounges proudly featured the classic cocktail on their menus, capitalizing on its historical allure and timeless appeal. This resurgence also spurred new variations of the Stinger, incorporating different liqueurs and spirits while staying true to the original essence of the drink.
Over the years, the Stinger cocktail has maintained its status as a classic and revered choice in the world of mixology. Its inclusion in numerous cocktail books and menus across generations is a testament to its enduring charm and the lasting influence of Jacques Straub and Reginald Vanderbilt.
60 ml cognac
30 ml white creme de menthe
Garnish: mint sprig
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add cognac and white creme de menthe.
Shake for 10 seconds, until well-chilled.
Strain the cocktail into an old-fashioned glass, using a Hawthorne strainer.
Garnish with mint sprig.