Singapore Sling cocktail with garnish

Singapore Sling Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 16, 2022 
The Singapore Sling is a complex and fruity Gin cocktail with unlimited variations. I want to help you through the jungle of recipes and find out how to make a proper Singapore Sling.

The Singapore Sling is one of these drinks everybody heard of, but nobody exactly knows how to make it. It reportedly originates in Singapore's famous Raffles Hotels, where Chinese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon invented it in 1915 while working at the bar in said hotel. Even though almost everyone agrees on this story, there are hints that it isn't entirely true. So let's find out the true story of this cocktail, the recipe you should follow, and which recipes you should avoid.

The recipe nobody knows

Until today, the Raffles hotel claims that the first Singapore Sling got shaken at their hotel bar. And many industry leaders came to an agreement that Ngiam Tong Boon invented the cocktail over 100 years ago.

Since then, the recipe got published in various cocktail books, each featuring a different version. You justifiably might wonder why this happened. The answer is pretty uneventful: the original recipe got lost. So nobody really knows how Ngiam Tong Boon prepared the drink and which ingredients he did use. Therefore, now, many recipes sound similar. But you will have a hard time finding two that are alike.

A history lesson of the Singapore Sling

When looking closely into the history of the Singapore Sling, you come across some different theories. On searching the Singaporean newspaper archives, David Wondrich found out that the first reference ever of a Sling was in 1897 already. That would have been almost 20 years before the cocktail was shaken at Raffles in 1915.

In 1903, there was another statement, apparently mentioning the drink as "pink slings for pale people." And it does not only state the pink hue the Singapore Sling is famous for but also points out that the drink was made for westerners staying in Singapore.

And again, another article from 1913 states the typical components of the Sling cocktail. The list of ingredients included: cherry Brandy, D.O.M. Bénédictine, Gin, lime juice, ice, few drops of cocktail bitters, and water. And it seems that occasionally a red wine float got used for bringing the drink together.

Also, an interesting fact about this drink is that the term "sling" actually derives from the German word "schlingen". And that means to devour something greedily.

The Singapore Sling in Raffles Hotel

However, as the Raffles Hotel is still considered the birthplace of the Singapore Sling, many bars and bartenders keep a close eye on the recipe used to make a Singapore Sling. And they realized that "Long Bar" at Raffles has indeed not only one recipe but two. The first is a more traditional take on the Singapore Sling, named "The Raffles 1915 Gin Sling", the other more modern variation with the descriptive name "Modern Raffles Singapore Sling."

If you want to try out both variations, you have to stock up on some unconventional supplies. But just in case, here are the ingredients and measurements for both versions served at Long Bar.

The Raffles 1915 Gin Sling

  • 1 oz Sipsmith Raffles 1915 Gin
  • ½ oz Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
  • ½ oz D.O.M Bénédictine
  • ½ oz Simple syrup
  • ¾ oz Fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • two dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Soda water, to top
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Modern Raffles Singapore Sling

  • 1 oz Widges Gin
  • ⅓ oz Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco
  • ⅓ oz D.O.M Bénédictine
  • ⅓ oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao
  • ⅓ oz Crawley’s Singapore Sling Grenadine
  • ¾ oz Fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • one dash of Scrappy’s Plantation Bitters
  • one cherry (garnish)
  • one pineapple slice (garnish)

The Singapore Sling recipe

Singapore Sling cocktail with garnish

Singapore Sling

A rich, complex, and nuanced Gin cockail
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Gin, Raffles, Singapore
Servings: 1
Calories: 149kcal
Cost: $2.50

Ingredients

  • 0.75 oz London Dry Gin
  • 0.25 oz D.O.M. Bénédictine
  • 0.25 oz Grand Marnier
  • 0.25 oz Heering cherry liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Dry red wine (float)
  • 0.5 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz Pineapple juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Chilled club soda to top
  • 1 Orange slice for garnish
  • 1 Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  • Add Gin, D.O.M. Bénédictine, Grand Marnier, Heering, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Angostura bitters into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice.
  • Shake the drink until it is well-chilled and then strain into a highball glass with ice.
  • Top up with club soda and float with red wine.
  • Add a slice of orange and cherry as a garnish, and your Singapore Sling is ready to be served.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.87g | Protein: 0.83g | Fat: 0.15g | Sodium: 4.5mg | Potassium: 214.25mg | Sugar: 31.72g | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.48mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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