The Singapore Sling is one of the most famous cocktails that hardly anybody has tried.
It was created to be a pink drink for ladies at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore in the early 1900’s by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Today hundreds of tourists visit the Long Bar at the Raffles each day to try the drink at the site of its creation. The bar is beautiful and the hotel is stunning, but when I visited a couple of years ago, they used some sort of pre-mix to make the drink. Alas.
The gin-based cocktail includes a lot of fruity ingredients like pineapple juice (its dominant flavor), lime, and triple sec. But it gets its personality from the Cherry Heering (a woody cherry liqueur), Benedictine (a spiced herbal liqueur), and Angostura bitters. These give the drink some depth.
As you can see from the recipe, it’s a pretty complicated drink, especially if you’re making it for one person. (You might want to make a pitcher of it for a party instead.) You can almost understand why Raffles bartenders would use a mix. Almost.
Originally created by Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore
2 fl. oz. gin, such as Beefeater
1/2 fl. oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
1/4 fl. oz. Benedictine Liqueur
1/2 fl. oz. Triple Sec, such as Cointreau
2 fl. oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 fl. oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
About 1 fl. oz. soda water (optional)
Add all ingredients except for soda water to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain over new ice in a highball or hurricane-style glass. Top with soda water and stir if you want a little fizz. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.