This drink is over a century old and spawned great drinks like “Green Hornet” and “Italian Stinger”. Many believe this drink originated in New York and was first published in The Ideal Bartender in 1917, this is not true. There are no strong indicators as to what location this drink derives from and it certainly wasn’t first published in The Ideal Bartender.
It appears this drinks name comes from the popular tool with the same name called a “Horse Stinger” which later just became a “Stinger”. Here is an early printing of this tool:
Publications: Volume 17 – Page 352 by English Dialect Society in 1886
“See HORSE-STINGER. HORSE-HOVE [au-s-oa’v], sb. and Horse-hoe. An implement drawn by a horse which slices off the weeds just below the surface of the ground. Often called a sham.”
These “Stingers” were often used by farmers and growers of the era and it was a very strong improvement on the plow. As we well know from the “Cocktail”, “Old-Fashioned”, and many others, it was a common practice to name drinks after Horse’s or things associated with horses. This drink is no exception.
Creme de Menthe had long been in production, even commercially available nationwide in 1850. Possibly, the introduction of this liqueur and the popularity of the horse stinger brought this drink into modern american drinking culture. However, the stinger did not reach the peak of it’s popularity until 1910, this is when the drink is published hundreds of times and perhaps some significant event caused this.
We have been unable to determine what might have sparked such a rise in the drink, but certainly by the 1960’s this drink had already been featured in major motion pictures such as “Kiss them for me” and “The Apartment”.
This drink dates between 1891 – 1899 and contained at least as of then:
This drink is served pousse-cafe or layered
Layer these ingredients in given order in a shot glass:
White Creme de Menthe