Not Another Vodka Stinger

I've been getting my cocktail ideas from TV lately. Most recently, on HBO's new vampire and rough sex show True Blood Sunday night, a middle-aged lady sitting at the local redneck Louisiana bar (is that redundant?) (just kidding! cancel the hate e-mails, please; one of my best pals is from Morgan City, before the remains of it blew up here) orders a stinger made with cognac.

Huh? That's what I said too. I got to thinking, has my calendar has a stinger yet this year? I didn't go through the last 9 months, but I flipped through the pages through March and I didn't see one. No Tom Collins, no stingers. What is the author thinking? She goes for the exotic ingredients drinks.

A stinger, of course, is just a base liquor with white creme de menthe. Mint - white or green - isn't my favorite liquor flavor, but I figured I'd give a few versions a whirl.

I screwed up the first one, using Jim Beam Black, bitters, and creme de menthe - supposedly. I accidentally grabbed the white creme de cacao bottle instead. I didn't think this tasted very minty. But it wasn't bad. The combination of bourbon and creme de cacao may sound weird, but it was good.

So, option 2, made with the right stuff, was Bombay Sapphire and mint. I didn't hate it after 2 sips and I drank it all, but I wouldn't make it a usual.

Option 3 was made with Jose Cuervo. This was my favorite of the afternoon; I was surprised that the mint-tequilla combination worked so well. I bet it would work with mezcal too.

Last, staggering to the cocktail shaker, was one with cognac (I used Courvoisier), as seen on TV. This was my least favorite; it was pretty bland. But I've had this bottle of Courvoisier for a long time, so it may have oxidized or whatever cognac does when it doesn't age gracefully.

I'd like to try a rum or a brandy stinger, and of course a vodka in honor of Elaine Stritch, but those will have to wait for a slow day in my calendar.