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How to make the perfect Singapore Sling



How to Make a Singapore Sling: Easy to Make Cocktail That Will Thrill You  

You’ve probably heard that Singapore is a fantastic destination for those who enjoy partying until morning, but did you know this island also created a very popular drink called the Singapore Sling? If you ever decide to visit this truly unique country, you will probably want to learn how to make a Singapore Sling, one of the country’s most iconic creations.

The Singapore Sling is almost a natural heritage for this country, a throwback to its exciting colonial past  and a fantastic way to cool down in the tropical heat. Luckily, this cocktail is really easy to make, so you can enjoy it even outside Singapore. 

The Story of Singapore Sling Cocktail

The Raffles Hotel was a favorite place for all Americans who came to visit Singapore during the late ‘20s and early ‘30s. They would land in the capital of the British Crown Colony and once they’d experience this extreme humidity and high temperatures, they would go directly to the hotel to run away from the relentless Asian sun. That’s when the story of the Singapore Sling began. 

As soon as the American tourists would check into the hotel, they would go to the astonishing Long Bar’s terrace and order a refreshing drink. The most popular choice for the majority of guests was a gin sling. Singapore was really famous for them at that time, and the hotel was known as the place to get the best one. With different variations, a combination of gin, lime or lemon juice and soda water, it earned a new name — Singapore Sling.

Ever since the 1920s, the Singapore Sling has been one of the most popular drinks in the entire world, however, the complete list of ingredients is still unknown. But, this mystery is what makes the Singapore Sling such a fascinating drink!

The Versatility of Singapore Sling

This red, exotic cocktail stayed around for so long because it can easily adapt to modern twists. The versatility of the Singapore Sling led to huge popularity in different parts of the world, from its classic versions to more exotic ones. Nowadays, you can even find Sling-inspired desserts in Singapore or find a recipe online, arrange alcohol delivery and prepare a dessert at home.

In 2015, Singapore Sling celebrated its 100th birthday. Although the drink became widely known in the ‘30s, it was created for the first time in 1915 by bar man Ngiam Tong Boon. The significance of this drink to its country can best be demonstrated with the fact that the Singapore Sling had a major role in the celebration of the country’s 50th independence anniversary, with old and new gin brands, such as Widges Gin. 

Making Singapore Sling for Ladies

At the beginning of the 20th century, women were not supposed to be seen drinking in public. That’s why the bartender at the Raffles Hotel decided to create a pink drink which would look like a non-alcoholic beverage, but would have gin inside. Of course, this is only one of the numerous theories on why and when the Singapore Sling was created, but it was certainly adored by ladies who lived in or visited Singapore during that period of time.

Even now, Singapore Sling is enjoyed by both women and men, and there’s no telling for which of them the drink was created. Undoubtedly, this cocktail placed Singapore on the map of innovative liquid creations in times when it wasn’t even an independent country. 

How to Make Your Own Singapore Sling

As mentioned above, the original recipe for the Singapore Sling is lost, and we can only assume which other ingredients were used besides gin. However, Raffles Hotel established their version as the best Singapore Sling on the market. Head bartender Aron Manzanillo shared the hotel’s cocktail version to help others learn how to make Singapore Sling at home or bars across the world.

Raffles’ Singapore Sling recipe:

  • Gin (30ml)
  • Cherry brandy (15ml)
  • Cointreau (7.5ml)
  • Benedictine DOM (7.5ml)
  • Angostura bitters (dash)
  • Grenadine (10ml)
  • Pineapple juice (120ml)
  • Lime juice (15ml) 

Pour the gin, Cointreau, Benedictine DOM, grenadine, lime and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes and add Angostura bitters. Shake it well and pour it into a tall glass. Pour the cherry brandy over the back of a bar spoon and decorate it with cherries and lemon slices, and voilà — you have the same Singapore Sling you would be served at the terrace of the Raffles Hotel. 

Rising Popularity of Singapore Sling

As much as the Singapore Sling was the signature drink of Singapore, it needed a little bit of a boost to become a world-wide famous beverage. It didn’t take much, as Americans were thrilled by it, to encourage bartenders in their own cities to start preparing them. Nevertheless, the Singapore Sling got the fame it deserved.

Charles Baker, author of a drinking guide called the “The Gentleman’s Companies” described the Singapore Sling as a “delicious, slow-acting insidious thing.” Also, it was the favorite drink of American writer Hunter S. Thompson, who also mentioned it in his novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

The Singapore Sling also found its way into the world of music. The famous singer Tom Waits sang about it in his song “Shore Leave.” 

Enjoying Your Singapore Sling

You can enjoy your Singapore Sling wherever you are, however, the best experience is guaranteed in Singapore. This tropical drink will become your go-to refreshment during the unbearable temperatures in Southeast Asia. Even in Singapore, you will find many different versions of the Singapore Sling, but the most popular one can still be found in the Raffles Hotel.

From cherry liqueurs, lime, orange to pineapple, the Singapore Sling will not leave you disappointed with its variations. When presented to the wider audience, the price for one Singapore Sling was around $2.50, but with its rising popularity, you will now have to pay around $26 for one cocktail.

Moreover, this dazzling drink should be enjoyed with a rather unusual activity of throwing peanut shells on the floor. As it was a tradition typical for the plantation lifestyle during the years when the Singapore Sling was becoming popular, you could go back in time and immerse yourself in the moment completely.

Now that you know how to make Singapore Sling, you can enjoy it anywhere you are and even include your favorite fruit in it and make your own version of a Singapore Sling!

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