"Singapore Sling" is an icon amongst cocktails. But because it comes from Singapore probably it has won more hearts than most drinks.
This cocktail has been around for almost a century without our realising it. And it has won its way into novels and magazines. It fills many pages in cyberspace today.
Created by a Hainanese bartender Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel at the beginning of the 20th century this cocktail has become legendary in South East Asia.
1 1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce Cherry Herring
1/4 ounce Cointreau
1/4 ounce Benedictine
4 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/3 ounce grenadine
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Garnish: Cherry and slice of pineapple
Shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled Collins glass.
The secret ingredient is Benedictine. "While the resultant flavor is not overly predominate, it does add a certain flavor profile that would be totally missing without this secret ingredient."
None dispute that the Singapore Sling was originally created by Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon for the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. However that is where the agreements end. The exact date is in question, with some people claiming it was in 1915, some 1913, while the hotel itself claims that it was created sometime prior to 1910. There is also plenty of disagreement as to how closely the current version of this drink that is served at Raffles is to what was originally served. Apparently
If you would like proof of the writing you can view view the safe in which Mr. Ngiam locked away his precious recipe books, as well as the Sling recipe hastily jotted on a bar-chit in 1936 by a visitor to the Hotel who asked the waiter for it in the Hotel Museum.
Originally, the Singapore Sling was meant as a woman's drink, hence the attractive pink colour. Today, it is very definately a drink enjoyed by all, without which any visit to Raffles Hotel is incomplete.
So when you next visit Singapore ask for a Singapore Sling or sit in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. Real spirits and spirits of another kind might just fill the nostalgic atmosphere and give you that special ambiance that all that was colonial have come together in a moment of reflection.
I am going to make one for myself and read my Somerset Maugham book. Cheers!