Developed sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender who worked at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel Singapore, the Singapore Sling is a historical cocktail that has made a revival over the past few years. The original recipe used only the best ingredients – gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine and fresh pineapple juice. While by the 1980s the quality of the drink had begun to suffer – for example, substituting soda water and bottled juice instead of the fresh variety – a reappearance of Cherry Heering and fresh ingredients has revived the cocktail favorite.
Want to know where to get a quality Singapore Sling on your next trip to Singapore? Try these top venues.
Raffles Hotel Singapore
This should be the first stop on your mission to find the perfect Singapore Sling, as this is where the drink was created over 100 years ago. Inside the hotel is the legendary Long Bar, the birthplace of the cocktail. For those who enjoy sipping their drink in a laid-back atmosphere, the two-story venue features Earthy decor inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s.Moreover, if you’d like to try a unique spin on the drink, modern day bartenders at the Long Bar have created six variations – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Tropical and Courtyard. To pay homage to the Ngiam Tong Boon, however, each recipe contains at least one original ingredient. For instance, the Spring Sling contains Smirnoff Apple Vodka, Apple Sourz and fresh pineapple and orange juices, while the gin-based Courtyard Sling is made with Lychee Liqueur, fresh mango juice and ginger beer. To help guests remember their cocktail experience, Singapore Sling Glasses and Sling Shakers are available for purchase.
Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
At the historic Fullerton Hotel, Singapore (FHS), patrons can enjoy more than just your average Singapore Sling. At their onsite Post Bar, there is actually a Singapore Sling collection, featuring eight unique variants of the famous cocktail, including a Coconut Sling and a Lychee Sling. The trendy bar also features a private music room with contemporary and new world music. Moreover, guests can choose to enjoy their cocktails at the under-lit honey onyx bar tables or outside in the bar’s adjoining outdoor East Garden.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
At The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, patrons will be able to enjoy classic Singapore Sling’s in a lounge named after the famous American glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The recipe for their version of the Sinapore goes like this:
30 ml Gin
15 ml Cherry Brandy
15 ml Grenadine
10 ml Triple Sec
10 ml Benedictine Dom
90 ml Pineapple Juice
15 ml Lime Juice
A dash of Angostura Bitters
Sliced Starfruit, Watermelon and Rock Melon for garnish
“There are many variations of Singapore Sling as different bartenders tweak the cocktail’s components for the best result,” explains assistant beverage manager Karamjeet Singh. “Our Singapore Sling is completely made a la minute when orders are received. This freshness really allows the subtleties of different flavors come through, from the warmth of the cherry brandy to the sunshine that pineapple juice imbues on the palate. Our Singapore Sling is slightly less sweet and doesn’t contain club soda unlike most other establishment’s version.”