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How to make a real Singapore Sling, according to Long Bar at Raffles Hotel Singapore

The Singapore Sling might be our national cocktail, but there’s only so much patriotism can do when the cocktail is constantly presented to us as what is best described as a fast pass to Type 2 diabetes.

Over the years, the Singapore Sling morphed from being a delicious, well-balanced cocktail bursting with exotic, local flavours into a bucket list must-have for tourists far and wide. And so every bar and restaurant looking to make a quick dime from sweaty, over-enthusiastic tourists were pushing their 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.

raffles hotel long bar singapore sling recipe
Raffles Hotel Singapore’s Long Bar

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 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.

raffles hotel long bar singapore sling recipe

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.

Now in its second instalment, the event will see 28 Hong Kong Street create a trendy rendition called Tokyo Giant, using Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin and Sakura Vermouth instead for a Japanese twist. Other collaborations to look out for include Atlas from 26 September – 30 October and Potato Head from 31 October – 27 November 2021.

In celebration of its 134th birthday, Raffles Hotel Singapore and Long Bar will also work with Brass Lion Distillery to offer three unique cocktails, each inspired by the familiar flavours of Singapore and Southeast Asian botanicals. From 16 – 19 September 2021, guests can expect creations such as Epal, a gin sour twist which marries cucumber with tangy green apple Yakult.

raffles hotel long bar singapore sling recipe

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

How to make a real Singapore Sling, according to Long Bar at Raffles Hotel Singapore

Shatricia Nair

Managing Editor

Shatricia Nair has a passion for motoring, beauty, and wellness, and is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, retinols, and latest fitness trends. She has nine years of experience writing for digital media, and her bylines have appeared in Prestige, and Augustman. She'll do (almost) anything for good chocolate chip cookies.

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