D. A. Embury stated in the Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: “Of all the recipes published for [this drink] I have never seen any two that were alike.”
This cocktail was developed sometime before 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender working at the Long Bar in the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Over the years the original recipe was lost and even the hotel’s recipe is recreated, based on memories of former bartenders and written notes that had been found.
So we’ve tried a Singapore Sling before — one with the modern take on it, but this version is more similar to the old gin sling that dates from the 1790s — back before it was all about the fruit juices it was a bit more booze forward.
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz cherry brandy
- 1/2 oz benedictine
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 dashes angustura bitters
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- club soda
Mix everything but the soda in a shaker filled with ice and then pour into collins glasses filled with ice. Top up with club soda.
The verdict: Different. You might want to play with the amount of club soda, but this is definitely not your traditionally sweet sling. Some recipes call for a bit of confectioners’ sugar, and I might try that next time. But it definitely had a refreshing edge to it and went down pretty darn easily. Let’s just say it went over well with everyone…
For more read this Washington Post article with a bit more history.