Midnight Stinger

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Get Our Recipes Sent To Your Inbox
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Cocktail History

The Midnight Stinger is a variation of the classic Stinger that was created by Sam Ross of Attaboy in New York City, New York. It turns the original cocktail into a whiskey sour by substituting whiskey for brandy and adding citrus juice and sugar along with the bitterness of Fernet-Branca.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Rye: This is the base spirit. It’s a type of whiskey made from at least 51% rye grain. We used Bespoken Spirits 100-Proof Rye Whiskey because it features a nice spiced whiskey flavor with a warming quality. For a low-proof version of this drink, try The Gospel Responsible Rye Non-Alcoholic Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Fernet-Branca: This is an Italian amaro made with various spices. It adds a distinct bitterness to the drink.

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors that balance out the other bitter and sweet ingredients. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes much better.

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

Mint: This is the garnish. It adds mint aroma.

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 this one 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. 

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 →

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. It’s 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)
$12.99

AuthorWinter DrinksPrep Time5 minsRating

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 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 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 rye to try a low-proof version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Rye Cocktails

If you like this rye 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

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2022-12-02.

Leave a comment