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Salute Raffles Hotel – for another Singapore Sling

Enjoy sipping Singapore Sling at the bar while throwing peanut shells on the floor

SLING IN SINGAPORE: A coffee and a curry puff from a street vendor will make up the appetite before you stop for lunch and off for shopping. My advice is at some of the air-conditioned malls along Orchard Road, not so far from Raffles Hotel. I mean the Long Bar at Raffles, world-famous for Singapore Sling. A quick sling in Raffles is a must for any visitor. Get ready for the famous and typical Singapore Sling cocktail, when the city re-opens for visitors.

Long Bar at Raffles Hoten in Singapore
Long Bar at Raffles Hoten in Singapore. At the moment the bar is closed due to Covid.

Stirred Negroni: The ever so Fascinating Cocktail

Singapore Sling Recipe

This is Raffles Hotel´s official Gin Sling – and how to make a Sling.
Ingredients
30 to 35 ml gin, such as Tanqueray (use more for an edge)
15 ml Cherry Heering
7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
7.5 ml Cointreau or triple sec
120 ml unsweetened pineapple juice, such as Trader Joe’s
15 to 18 ml fresh lime juice
5 to 10 ml grenadine (use less if you don’t like sweet)
A forceful dash of Angostura Bitters
Ice cubes
Pineapple and maraschino cherry (optional, for garnish)

The Shaker Machine is capable of shaking up to 18 Slings at a go
The Shaker Machine is capable of shaking up to 18 Slings at a go

How to make a Sling

Make a Sling. Pour ingredients, from the gin down to the grenadine, into a cocktail shaker. Add the bitters. Drop in enough ice cubes to fill about 2/3 of the shaker. Cover and shake hard and fast, until the container feels cold, about 30 seconds.
Fill a tall glass with ice, then strain the cocktail over the ice. If you want, garnish with the pineapple and cherry.
A Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel costs about S$30.

The Legendary Long Bar

Before you pull up a barstool and order a Singapore Sling, you should know about the birthplace for this pink-pastel-colored cocktail. It was created here by barman Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915 and became one of the world’s most iconic cocktails. And hardly surprising that it´s various theories about its creation.

Even though Singapore Slings are overpriced and the hotel is modernised, there are still echoes of colonial exclusivity. But you don´t need formal dress for a quick sling, you are welcomed even if wearing shorts.

Singapore Sling gives a summer feel with a cooling and bitter-sweet after taste with an alcoholic content close to 7%.
Singapore Sling gives a summer feel with a cooling and bitter-sweet after taste, with an alcoholic content close to 7%.

Upper-class Secret

More authorized fact is that Ngiam created a drink similar to fruit juice. Mainly because it was socially unacceptable for women to drink alcohol. It made perfect sense. Singapore´s upper-class ladies knew where to order ladies drink without offending social norm. Raffles served their much-needed cocktail – or two, or three – at a fashionable sport, where they could drink the hot day away.

Around the World in 80 Cocktails. Reporter Gudmund Lindbaek on a tasting journey
One for the Road: Around the World in 80 Cocktails. Reporter Gudmund Lindbaek on a tasting journey

A Sling Masterclass

In Singapore´s sticky heat starts our Sling masterclass by cooling a cocktail glass by filling it with ice. Then line up the ingredients. Singapore Sling is made by two juices – lime and pineapple – both need to be fresh. Secondly, use a good gin, and London dry gin will work.

The Singapore Sling is a pink, tropical concoction that looks misleadingly like ordinary fruit punch. However, drink past its juicy exterior and you will find a potent alcoholic mix of Cherry Brandy, gin, Cointreau, grenadine and Dom Benedictine, topped off with lime and pineapple juice.

This legendary hotel along Beach Road symbolises Singapore´s colonial history better than no other. Named after Singapore´s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, and graced by Queen Elizabeth II with her presence.

Narajan Singh and two other Sikh doormen of Raffles Hotel are the brand ambassadors of the grand old institution.
Narajan Singh and two other Sikh doormen of Raffles Hotel are the brand ambassadors of the grand old institution.

Iconic and ironic

Over a hundred years after the first cocktail was served, it has become a classic part of Singapore’s brand and a must-do for tourists today. Where ever you stay in Singapore, head over to Long Bar and order a Singapore Sling. You know you want to do it, and tradition demands it. Enjoy sipping your drink at the bar while throwing peanut shells on the floor, a tradition inspired by the plantation lifestyle of the 1920s.

Raffles is an iconic institution and the cocktail and bar world known, visited by people from around the world. Even this cocktail is a true classic not every barkeeper can make a good Singapore Sling! Then highly ironic that most Singaporeans have never had a Singapore Sling themselves.
Advise: Please check updated advise for travel to Singapore.

Europe: A glass of something local

 

 

Make it Happen!

Touch Down: British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates flies from London Heathrow to Changi Airport, as well as from several more airports in Europe. You can leave the airport by train, public bus, taxi or car. A taxi-ride to the city takes about 30 minutes. All fares are metered.

Stay: Stay at Raffles Hotel is an exclusive alternative. If you have not made accommodation, you may visit Changi Recommends booths located at the Arrival Halls of all terminals or book hotel online. You are very much close to Raffles bar in Singapore.

Eat: Hainanese chicken rice, Chilli crab, Laksa, Char kuay teow, Hokkien prawn mee, Barbecued stingray, Fish head curry, Satay are all excotic names of food and dishes you have to choose when in Singapore. Meal prices in Singapore can vary, the average cost of food is SG$30 per day. Many locals eat at hawker centers, which are collections of stalls selling simple, economical food.

Play: Vibrant nightlife scene is an unmissable experience. From award-winning cocktail bars to glitzy nightclubs and world-class festivals, there is never a dull moment in the Lion City.

Mini Guide: Gardens by The Bay, Botanic Gardens and Singapore Zoo are three of many attractions. Or try a ride on Singapore Flyer. Once on top, you get the most amazing view of the entire city. The National Museum regularly features exhibits full of the island’s historical and cultural artefacts. Keep tabs on their website for their latest interactive workshops and outdoor movie screenings. Eating is undoubtedly something visitors and locals our nation’s past-time, and visitors can share in our love for food and drinks with exciting events and festivals, taking place under normal conditions.

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.

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