New York has its Manhattan, Moscow its mule and Long Island its Iced Tea. In turn, Singapore has the honour of having one of the hardest cocktails to make. Formulated at the turn of the century, the Singapore Sling was initially called the Straits Sling, and was created as a lady’s cocktail, hence its pinkish tone.
Recipes vary, but according to the Raffles Hotel, the original consists of gin, cherry liquer, Benedictine, pomegranate juice and pineapple juice from Sarawak pineapples, to create the foamy top. However, many recent recipes use bottled juice, while adding club soda for the foam. A handwritten bar-chit by Ngiam, dated 1936, still hangs in the Raffles Hotel Museum. The “Million Dollar Cocktail” was also created by Ngiam, where it gained similar recognition after Somerset Maugham featured it in his short story, “The Letter”.
The Singapore Sling has proven so popular that bottled versions are now also available in commercial supermarkets and shops. Drinks and other Singapore Sling products can be found at the Singapore Sling boutique at Clark Quay.
Even though you might want to head down to the Long Bar and order yourself an authentic Singapore Sling while embracing the nostalgia of the Raffles Hotel, there are other bars which also do great versions of this drink. OverEasy at One Fullerton whips up an excellent Singapore Sling with a touch of Angostura Bitters, while Orgo at the Esplanade blends theirs with freshly squeezed pineapple, lime and pomegranate juice.