A TASTE OF SINGAPORE
“A drink that looks like juice, that we can neck without flipping polite society the bird…”
The Singapore Sling was made for upper class women who wanted to daydrink but not get found out. Been there.
This week we’re chucking peanut shells on the floor and heading to Singapore for the best Slings and a recipe for making it at home.
Nijiam Tong Boon was a bartender at Raffles Hotel in Singapore and spotted a gap in the market for thirsty ladies. Ahem. Who were only allowed to sip on tea and juice in public.
In 1915 he mixed up a bevvy that looked fruity and sweet but was packing gin, brandy, herbal liqueur, and just a splash of juice - to keep the men from bitching.
Women would head on down to the hotel to drink ‘punch’. It’s called denial, people. Even the likes of Rudyard Kipling stopped by the hotel for the cocktail on his travels. And Hunter S. Thomson wrote about it in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where characters drank “Singapore Slings with mescal on the side and beer chasers”.
The head bartender at Raffles has some top tips for making the best Singapore Sling. Use fresh juice if you can (lime and pineapple) and good gin (London dry is perf because it’s spicy).
Other than that we recommend drinking with a pile of peanuts and chucking them about… it’s tradition.
• 1 1/2 ounces gin
• 1 ounce Benedictine
• 1 ounce lime juice
• 2 ounces club soda
• 1/2 ounce cherry brandy (or kirsch or Cherry Heering)
• Garnish: lemon slice and maraschino cherry
1) Pour the gin, Benedictine, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
2) Shake it like your life depends on it.
3) Strain (if you’re fancy) into a highball glass (if you’re double fancy) and serve over fresh ice.
4) Pour in your soda.
5) To get your cherry brandy to float nicely on top, pour it over the back of a spoon.
6) Finish with a slice of lemon and a cherry. Fruity stuff.
Our Bar Pick
If you shit gold bars then you should totally go to Raffles Hotel. For those who don’t want to re-mortgage, there’s The Spiffy Dapper. They describe themselves as a “monstrosity of a monument to bad taste”.
This is how they sell themselves...
“Come up those dingy stairs and there is a chance that we might be open and sober enough to serve.”
You’ve found your people. This place serves a mean Singapore Sling. It’s traditional and no-frills, which means not overly sweet.
This one’s a keeper - hit the Lucky button then save this trip for a happier time 💚