Midnight Stinger

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Cocktail History

The Midnight Stinger is a a modern cocktail that was created by Sam Ross of Attaboy in New York City, New York. It’s a variation of the iconic Stinger that turns the original into a Whiskey Sour by substituting whiskey in place of the classic brandy and adding citrus juice, sugar, and the bitter amaro Fernet-Branca.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Rye: This is a type of whiskey made with at least 51% rye grain, malted barley, corn, and water. We used Bespoken Spirits 100-Proof Rye Whiskey because it has a nice whiskey flavor with warm, calming quality. For a mocktail version of this drink, try The Gospel Responsible Rye Non-Alcoholic Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Fernet-Branca: This is an amaro made in Italy with gentian, aloe, herbs, spices, sugar, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Harmony Alpine Digestif in place of the amaro.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Mint Sprig: This is an herb. We used Mojito mint.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

The Midnight Stinger starts with strong aromas of cool mint, has a citrus-forward taste featuring the rye’s strength and spiciness along with the amaro’s herbal bitter notes, and goes down with a burst of sweetness and Fernet’s bouquet of flavors left in the throat. 

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Fernet-Branca can be overbearing in some cocktails, but the Midnight Stinger manages to tame it perfectly, lending its unique flavors but only a palatable hint of its bitterness. We both loved this drink! Alex even marked his calendar with the milestone of the first Fernet-Branca drink Kendall truly enjoyed too. 

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“While I originally altered the recipe to favor the mintiness of the original Stinger, opting to use Fernet-Branca Menta, a bit less sugar, and more rye, I have to admit the original is the standard. Its split base of Fernet-Branca and whiskey manages to neuter the amaro’s aggressively bitter flavor to a palatable level and make the whiskey prominent but not spicy. The sugar, along with the lemon, then balance the whole thing out into a drink that I honestly think anybody would like, whether they’re a fan of Fernet-Branca’s bitterness and rye’s spiciness or not.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“It’s been a long time since we tried the original Stinger, so I don’t really remember much about it other than that it was simple to make. Although meant to be a variation of the classic Stinger, this cocktail is quite different since it’s made with whiskey instead of brandy and omits crème de menthe altogether. I do believe I prefer this one even with the added bitterness of Fernet-Branca though. Alex made a version with Fernet-Branca Menta so it would be more similar to the original Stinger, which he really liked, but I personally found it to be too minty and liked the true Midnight Stinger a bit more. It’s quite balanced and tastes like rye with a hint of mint. I would drink this again.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$14.58 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Bourbon or Rye
 1 oz Fernet-Branca
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Add whiskey, Fernet-Branca, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Bourbon or Rye
 1 oz Fernet-Branca
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add whiskey, Fernet-Branca, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Midnight Stinger

Make It a Mocktail: Use The Gospel Responsible Rye Non-Alcoholic Whiskey in place of the whiskey and Harmony Alpine Digestif in place of the amaro to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Rye Cocktails

If you like this rye-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Mott & Mulberry Cocktail Recipe

Mott & Mulberry: A rye cocktail made with Luxardo Amaro Abano, apple cider, lemon juice, Demerara syrup, and apple slices

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

Falling Leaves: A rye cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, toasted fig syrup, chocolate bitters, and an orange slice

Remember The Maine Cocktail Recipe

Remember The Maine: A rye cocktail made with sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, absinthe, and a cherry

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Brooklyn: A rye cocktail made with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon

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