The stinger is a great cocktail. It's versatile. It really makes a great nightcap or you could enjoy a cold stinger on a hot summer day. I think the key to a good stinger is that it should be cold.
I wanted to tweak the stinger a little bit though. I wanted to see what I could do to replace the creme de menthe. I like my stinger dry and minty, and you have to be very careful with the creme de menthe, or your stinger can fall into the realm of cloying and sticky sweet.
I wanted to kick up the mint with a more natural flavor so I made an intense minty simple syrup to replace the sweet liqueur.
Intense Mint Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 large bunch fresh mint
1 cup good vodka
Heat up the water and mix in the sugar to make a basic syrup. Pack a large mason jar with mint and cover with the syrup and vodka. Refrigerate over night, then strain into a clean conainer.
(When I was making this, I let my son take a whiff. He said it smelled cold. At that point I knew I had it. He's only two though, and didn't qualify for the tasting panel.)
My Fresh Mint Stinger Recipe
2 oz. Brandy or Cognac
1 oz. Intense Mint Syrup
Shake over ice and serve over crushed ice, garnish with fresh mint.
This modified stinger turned out really well. It's really dry and crisp, and the mint tastes like real mint, not mint candy. It makes a nice foil to the brandy and tastes very balanced.
I'm looking forward to trying my mint syrup in some mojitos and some mint juleps. I'm sure I'll get lots of ideas from this weeks other Mixology Monday posts.
Be sure to check out the Mixology Monday Wrap-up over at Kaiser Penguin for more minty freshness.