Singapore is famous for a number of things, like being squeaky clean, efficient and the Singapore Sling.
Over the years, the Singapore Sling morphed from being a delicious, well-balanced cocktail bursting with exotic flavours into a bucket list must-have for tourists far and wide. And so every bar and restaurant in Singapore looking to make a quick dime from sweaty, over-enthusiastic tourists was pushing its own versions of the drink.
It didn’t help that the cocktail isn’t exactly a three-ingredient concoction; its long list of ingredients meant that to cut costs and time, these places used sub-par alternatives and plenty of syrup to mask the saccharine, medicinal taste.
It wasn’t long before the cocktail’s reputation took a nosedive, especially amongst locals. Yet there’s still one establishment that’s stayed true to everything the Singapore Sling stood for: Long Bar at Raffles Hotel Singapore. After all, it was in that very bar that Ngiam Tong Boon — then-head bartender at Raffles Hotel — first put together the cocktail in 1915. Because women sipping on gin neat was frowned upon then, Ngiam came up with this unique take on the Gin & Juice so that the ladies could enjoy their night without judgement.
The original Singapore Sling recipe was perfectly balanced with acidity from the citrus and pineapple, a slight sweetness from its liqueurs, and a subtle bitterness from the herbal liqueur. The gin and three different liqueurs lent the cocktail an addictive kick, making it a tart, refreshing and delicious drink, especially on a hot summer’s day.
Fast forward a century later, the cocktail’s very spirit still lives on at Long Bar, and with its reopening after Covid-19 lockdown comes Slingology, an exciting monthly series showcasing Sling-inspired tipples by guest bartenders from some of Singapore’s best bars.
If you’re a purist, however, and want to recreate an authentic version of the cocktail at home, Raffles Hotel Singapore and Long Bar has graciously bestowed its revered Singapore Sling recipe unto us. Read on to find out how you can nail the cocktail in all its original glory at home.
What you’ll need:
30 ml Widges Gin
15 ml Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
120 ml Fresh pineapple juice
15 ml Fresh lime juice
7.5 ml Ferrand Dry Curaçao
7.5 ml Bénédictine
10 ml Crawley’s ‘Singapore Sling’ Grenadine
A dash of Scrappy’s ‘Spice Plantation’ Bitters
A slice of pineapple
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry
1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Add ice and shake
3. Strain into an ice-filled tall glass
4. Garnish with bitters, pineapple, and cherry
The story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore