Cocktails and colonials


Singapore Slings at Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

In the days when social etiquette prevented women from consuming alcohol in public, Raffles Hotel barman Ngiam Tong Boon invented a cocktail disguised as a fruit punch: the Singapore Sling. Having a Sling at Raffles has become a rite of passage for tourists and visitors to Singapore. Add satays for a good match.

Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore sling and satays

Although owned by a faceless multinational conglomerate (like everything else), the legendary Raffles Hotel, located at 1 Beach Road, has maintained its colonial exterior, standing resolutely against the ultra-modernity and sprawling malls of downtown Singapore. The Long Bar, which in its heyday hosted the likes of Hemingway, Kipling, Somerset Maugham and Hitchcock, has been restored to its colonial grandeur, exuding decadent ambience.

The cocktail too has undergone restoration, now being offered in its classic form, in addition to modern adaptations containing, for example, Champagne (as shown above).

Here’s a recipe, said to be the original.

  • 30 ml gin
  • 15 ml cherry liqueur (cherry brandy)
  • 5 ml cointreau
  • 5 ml Benedictine
  • 10 ml grenadine
  • 12 ml pineapple juice
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters.

Mixed with ice, shaken and strained into highball glasses, garnished with a slice of pineapple and a Maraschino cherry. Cheers.

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