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post #64
bio: jen

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The Singapore Sling

In Singapore, under a metal Victorian gazebo in the courtyard of Raffles hotel sits a bar. In that bar for 16 Sing, you can get the Singapore Sling (25 Sing if you want the souvenir glass).

The Singapore Sling was invented at Raffles Hotel, so I decided to go there to have one. While white ceiling fans spun quietly and a soft breeze blew through the hanging wine glasses like wind chimes, I sat at the bar between a Swedish couple writing postcards and an Ozzie guy reading The DaVinci Code. I hoped to witness the bartender mix and pour the world famous cocktail with flourish.

Instead, the bartender went over the blender, blended for three seconds, and poured a frothy pink mixture into a glass with a pineapple and cherry garnish. There it was---the Singapore Sling, straight off the assembly line.

I took a sip through the straw. Damn, it was sweet. There was definitely pineapple juice in it. I couldn't taste much alcohol, but there was a full heavy flavor to the drink. Rum? Brandy? I sipped slowly. I use to drink a lot of Raspberry Stoli and tonics. That was sweet, but this was sweeter.

I looked around the bar. A tourist family (Mom, Dad, a teenage son, and a younger son) sat down at the bar. Mom and Dad got the blender juice. The two sons got virgin slings which were much redder. Was there Grenadine in it? Another couple sat down at the end of the bar. She drank a Singapore Sling, and he drank a Tiger beer.

Tiger beer is everywhere in Singapore (Singapore means Lion City), and some people drive Jaguars. How many big cats can you fit in one place? But getting back to beer, I like the Tiger beer. It's light but not too light.

I slurped down the last of the Singapore Sling. My mouth had a pasted sugar aftertaste in it. Blech. I had to order that Tiger beer. Oh yes I did.

I ordered a Tiger and asked the bartender what was in the Singapore Sling. He passed me a card with the history and recipe for the Singapore Sling. It says the following:

The Singapore Sling was created at Raffles Hotel at the turn-of-the-century by Hainanese-Chinese bartender, Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon.

In the Hotel's museum, visitors may view the safe in which Mr. Ngiam locked away his precious recipe books, as well as the Sling recipe hastily jotted own on a bar-chit in 1936 by a visitor to the Hotel who asked the waiter for it.

Originally, the Singapore Sling was meant as a woman's drink, hence the attractive pink colour. Today, it is very definitely a drink enjoyed by all, without which any visit to Raffles Hotel is incomplete.


30 ml Gin
15 ml Cherry Brandy
120 ml Pineapple Juice
15 ml Lime Juice
7.5 ml Cointreau
7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
10 ml Grenadine
A dash of Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry

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