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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

In Search of the Singapore Sling

Let’s get some known facts out of the way first, shall we? The Singapore Sling was probably invented some time between 1913 and 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, who worked at the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. It certainly had gin. And ice. It may have had “cherry brandy” (by which we mean a cherry liqueur ... or perhaps not) and Benedictine. It may have also had lime juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, sloe gin, crème de cassis, orange bitters and/or the all-mysterious “bitters”.

Furthermore, let’s set some things straight. First, this drink, whatever it is, isn’t a sling. A sling is a lightly sweetened and chilled spirit, lengthened with water of some sort. This drink, with its citrus, bitters and liqueurs is much more like an early English Tiki drink than a proper sling.

In fact, so little is known about this drink’s ingredients that David Embury, writing in “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” (1948) claims that he’d never seen two recipes with the same ingredients. I would extend this, and say that we should differentiate between the Modern Raffles Hotel Singapore Sling, the Original version of the same drink, and the more generic “Singapore Sling”, which may or may not have a lot in common with the version served at the Raffles.

Recent Additions

  • Bogged Down Mule — Bison grass vodka, Cranberry liqueur, Bitters, Ginger beer, Lime juice, Simple syrup
  • Tropical Popsicle — Japanese Whisky, Aperol, Seltzer water, Passion fruit syrup, Lime juice
  • Jolly Jane — Blended Scotch, Sweet vermouth, Sherry, CioCiaro, Orange peel
  • Duty Call — Shochu, Umeshu, Orange bitters, Yuzu juice, Rich simple syrup 2:1, Sugar
  • Bernheim Buck — Wheat Whiskey, Strawberry, Ginger beer, Simple syrup, Lime juice, Lime

Recent Discussion

  • Re Red Head, 19 hours 6 minutes ago Aviation__1952 commented:

    WOW !! I am definitely liking this one !! The more ingredients, the better !! Lots and Lots of room for slight variations of this and that and something else in order to bring subtle changes to the overall flavor signature to make happy the individual palate. Simple, complex, and so filled with opportunity !!

  • Re Quadrophenia, 19 hours 33 minutes ago Shawn C commented:

    I finally made some Amer Boudreau a few weeks ago as per the recipes posted on line (Ramazotti and dried orange peel tincture.) This week while in Tennessee I also picked up some Old Forester Bohemian Bitters as called for in the Paste article. Having these components in hand, plus Four Roses Bourbon, I remade per the spec. I was quite pleased at the result, the drier nature of the Amer Boudreau was a better match than sweeter Bigallet China-China Amer. The bitters fit right in. I'll bump my rating up to 5 stars.

  • Re Blackberry Whiskey Smash, 21 hours 42 minutes ago jsk commented:

    Don't muddle/shake the mint unless you like that grassy chlorophyl flavor. Just slap it and add to the glass (like a mojito). Also 2 oz rye.

  • Re Procrastination, 22 hours 13 minutes ago sheila.scully@… commented:

    I like this one a lot and have been using 2 oz gin, 1/2 oz Dolin Dry, 1/2 oz homemade limoncello and 1/2 oz Genepy since Chartreuse has been hard to come by lately.

  • Re Ski Mask #1, 1 day ago Craig E commented:

    Just tried sour-ifying this with 1/2 oz citrus (I used yuzu super juice) and like it better. Spice, lime, Hawaiian Punch.