The Singapore Sling

Like the legendary shooting of Singapore's last wild tiger under the billiard table at Raffles Hotel (that's for another time), the Singapore Sling is part of Singaporean folklore. The consensus is that Ngiam Tong Boon, a Raffles Hotel bartender, created the pink-colored drink with thirsty ladies in mind. That's where the agreement ends: some claim the first Sling was concocted in 1915, others contend that it was given life in 1913, and the hotel insists that it was created prior to 1910. Many purists insist that the original recipe was lost in the 1930s. They contend that the drink, in its current incarnation, is based on the memories of retired bartenders. The hotel's museum shop has what it claims is the safe where Mr. Ngiam locked away his recipe books, and the original Sling recipe. Leave the debate to the die-hards. Order a tall glass at the peanut shell–covered Long Bar at Raffles Hotel or make your own version with these ingredients:

1½ ounces gin

½ ounce Cherry Herring brandy

¼ ounce Cointreau

¼ ounce Benedictine

4 ounces pineapple juice

½ ounce lime juice

⅓ ounce grenadine

a dash of bitters

Shake the mix with ice, pour it into a chilled glass, and garnish the drink with cherries or pineapple. Sip with care: the juices often mask the gin, brandy, Cointreau, and Benedictine.

Previous Experience

Table Manners in Singapore

Next Experience

Top Reasons to Go to Singapore

Find a Hotel


Fodor's Singapore 25 Best

View Details