The Singapore Sling is, as its name suggests, a Singaporean creation. Invented in the 1900s by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, the original cocktail has inspired numerous reproductions and reinterpretations. As of 2016, the Original Singapore Sling sells for a pricey S$31 at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel.

Unlike Coca Cola and KFC, the ingredients that go into a Singapore Sling aren’t trade secret, nor are they locked inside a vault. All you need is a simple Google search to discover the ingredients inside this cocktail. So what exactly is it that gives the Singapore Sling its hefty price tag at the Long Bar? More importantly, is it worth it?

1. It’s THE original 

Any bar with a decent cocktail menu will feature the Singapore Sling. But if you want the original Singapore Sling, Long Bar at Raffles Hotel is the only place to go. It is, after all, the birthplace of the drink! Granted, the Singapore Sling isn’t a rarity but you won’t be getting the real deal anywhere else. It says so on the menu too – next to the S$31 list price!

2. Historical relevance

It was here at Long Bar that Mr Ngiam Tong Boon first mixed the Singapore Sling in the early 20th century. Originally called the “gin sling”, the drink was created to cater to a glaringly large yet totally overlooked portion of the market – the ladies. You see, back then it was considered improper and unladylike for women to drink alcoholic beverages in public. As the men knocked back glasses of gin or whiskey, females could only watch in envy as they sipped their boring fruit juices or teas.

Mr Ngiam didn’t think it wasn’t fair. Not wanting to deny his female customers the delights of an alcoholic beverage, he decided to create a strong gin-based cocktail with the appearance of fruit juice. Thanks to his ingenious solution, women in the 1900s were now able to imbibe in public, free from social scrutiny.

3. The experience

The Singapore Sling is synonymous with Raffles Hotel and its Long Bar. While the drink itself has been replicated all over the world, the experience of sipping a Singapore Sling at Long Bar is one of a kind. Ambience is everything, and the old school charm of the Long Bar is unpretentious and authentic. It’s been 101 years, but the Singapore Sling is still made the same way as it was back in 1915 at Long Bar. The historical Long Bar is an ode to Singapore’s days under colonial rule. Very little has changed at the bar since the 1900s.

By the way, peanuts are complimentary and you’re free to toss the shells… anywhere. Yes, littering is permitted and even encouraged at the Long Bar!

Peanut shells thrown on the floor at the long bar.

4. Bragging rights

The Original Singapore Sling costs S$36.20, after service charge and GST.

That’s right. A drink that costs S$36.20 after service charge and GST deserves to be bragged about. Considering the fact that an average plate of chicken rice costs about S$4, one glass of Singapore Sling would be worth nine plates of chicken rice. Get ready to Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook your pink drink. Hopefully, you’ll be getting your money’s worth in likes!

5. Check it off your bucket list

What’s a visit to Singapore without trying the Singapore Sling? You visited the Merlion, didn’t you?

Having a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar has been recommended as a to-do before you die, so what are you waiting for?

6. It’s really tasty 

Everything else aside, the Singapore Sling is just a good drink. It’s cool, refreshing, and helps you to beat the tropical heat.

So is the Singapore Sling at Long Bar worth the price? If you were looking at the Singapore Sling as just another cocktail… probably not. But all factors considered, definitely. It makes for an excellent once-in-a-lifetime indulgence. You might not be revisiting any time soon, so be sure to immortalise your experience with a ton of photos!

If you’re still not convinced, you can also make the drink yourself. Here’s the recipe.

You’ll need:

  • 30ml Gin
  • 15ml Cherry Heering Liquer
  • 7.5ml DOM Benedictine
  • 7.5ml Cointreau
  • 120ml Pineapple Juice
  • 15ml Lime Juice
  • 10ml Geradine Syrup

Simply shake all the ingredients with ice, and pour.

Top it off with a dash of Angostura bitters, and garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple.

Follow this video for a step-by-step guide!

Visit Long Bar on one of LocoMole’s walking trails. Check out the related trails in the sidebar!

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