The Singapore Sling – The classic with exotic roots
A drink as multifaceted as its history. The Singapore Sling is not only rich in culture and exciting ingredients, but it also lives up to its exotic name. Invented in present-day Singapore, tropical fruit juices are mixed with every classic from the world of spirits.
A unique character that is not intrusive, but elegant and round. The Singapore Sling is a classic in international bars and should not be missing on a decent cocktail menu. This long drink transforms your living room into a classy cocktail bar.
Where did the Singapore Sling originate?
The cocktail was actually invented in Singapore and doesn’t only have an exotic name. There are many legends about the origin of the recipe, but it was first mixed in the 19th century.
Singapore as a city did not yet exist, the forerunners around the island were called “Straits Settlements”.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a bartender at the luxury Raffles Hotel picked up the recipe and called it “Straits Sling”. The first known version of the cocktail was created by Ngiam Tong Boon. He liked to play it safe and kept his recipes and creations in a safe. That very safe can still be seen in a museum today, along with the piece of paper on which the recipe was scribbled.
Over time, the name changed to “Singapore Sling”, and there were some changes in preparation. Almost every decade has its version of the recipe. The fresh fruit juices remained one of the most important components for the long drink. Meanwhile, the recipe no longer qualifies as a sling per definition, but the name stayed.
- long drink glass
- 3 cl gin
- 1.5 cl cherry liqueur or cherry brandy
- 1 cl Cointreau
- 1 cl DOM Bénédictine
- 1 cl Grendadine
- 12 cl pineapple juice
- 1.5 cl lime juice fresh
- 1 shot Angostura Bitters
- some ice cubes for the shaker
- 1 slice pineapple for garnishing
- 1 Maraschino cherry for garnishing
- Fill the cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
- Add all ingredients to the shaker and shake.
- The outside may condense, this shows that the cocktail is cold enough. When shaking, a light foam should form in the shaker.
- Pour the entire contents of the shaker into the glass. Do not use a strainer, we want the foam in the glass.
- Finally, garnish with a pineapple slice and Maraschino cherry.
Tips for the perfect “Singapore Sling”
When it comes to Singapore Sling, planning is key. Even the shopping trip to the grocery store should be well-thought-out. The cocktail might have a long list of ingredients, but it’s also a very flavorful long drink. You can use the various spirits for other cocktails.
It’s worth using fresh pineapple juice or a product without additional sugar. Otherwise, the cocktail will be too sweet and taste only of juice, which usually overpowers the other ingredients.
When it comes to cherry liqueur or cherry brandy, it all depends on your own preference. Cherry Heering is a popular choice for this cocktail.
Which gin is best?
The most difficult choice is the gin. Dry gins and gins with intense juniper flavors and no sugar are best for this cocktail. The bitter flavors complement the otherwise sweet components of the drink nicely.
Is there a replacement for DOM Bénédictine?
DOM Bénédictine is an important ingredient for the cocktail. It is an intense herbal liqueur that gives the Singapore Sling its zing. There are other herbal liqueurs out there, but they taste different.
This ingredient should not be left out in the original recipe. DOM Bénédictine can also be used in other cocktails, for example in the Monk Sour or the Vieux Carré.
What are the variations of the Singapore Sling?
There are a few historical variations that are also very appealing. The Singapore Sling from the 1930s is a straightforward cocktail without the tropical flavor. Here, gin and cherry liqueur are mixed in equal proportions of 3 cl each. Some lemon juice is added and at the end, the long drink is filled up with soda water.