Traditional Singapore sling cocktail recipe

In the vibrant tapestry of classic cocktails, few are as enigmatic and adorned with as much mystique as the Singapore Sling. Born in the sultry ambiance of the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, this concoction is more than just a drink; it’s a journey through time and culture. From its disputed origins to its colorful evolution, the Singapore Sling is not merely a cocktail—it’s a celebration in a glass. As we dive into the alluring world of this iconic beverage, we uncover the layers of its rich history, the debate over its original recipe, and how it became a symbol of tropical sophistication. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious traveler in the realm of spirits, join us as we explore the allure and the mystery of the Singapore Sling. Ready to whet your appetite for history and cocktails? Let’s raise a glass to the drink that’s as intriguing as its birthplace.

Singapore sling cocktail recipe

The Singapore Sling is a classic cocktail that’s both fruity and refreshing. Here’s a traditional recipe:


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce cherry brandy
  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1/4 ounce Bénédictine
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/3 ounce grenadine
  • A dash of Angostura bitters
  • Club soda (optional)
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry and a slice of pineapple


  1. Combine Ingredients: In a shaker filled with ice, combine gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Bénédictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and Angostura bitters.
  2. Shake: Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  3. Strain: Strain into a highball or hurricane glass filled with ice.
  4. Top Up: If desired, top up with a little club soda for some fizz.
  5. Garnish: Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of pineapple.

Enjoy your Singapore Sling! Remember, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Some versions use more or less of certain ingredients, so feel free to experiment.


Pairing drinks with food is an art form, enhancing the flavors of both the beverage and the dish. When it comes to pairing with a Singapore Sling, which is fruity, sweet, and slightly tart, you’ll want to consider dishes that complement or contrast these taste profiles. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Spicy Asian Cuisine: The sweet and fruity flavors of the Singapore Sling can balance out the heat in dishes like Thai curries, spicy Szechuan stir-fries, or Indian vindaloos.
  2. Seafood: Light seafood dishes, such as grilled shrimp, sushi, or a fresh seafood salad, can be nicely complemented by the refreshing nature of the cocktail.
  3. Barbecue: The sweetness of the Singapore Sling can pair well with the smoky flavors of barbecued meats, such as spare ribs or grilled chicken.
  4. Fruit-Based Desserts: Complement the fruity notes of the cocktail with fruit-based desserts like a tropical fruit salad, mango sorbet, or a peach tart.
  5. Fried Snacks: Fried appetizers like spring rolls, samosas, or tempura vegetables can be a great match, as the cocktail’s acidity and sweetness cut through the oiliness of the food.

Remember, the key to a good pairing is balance and harmony between the drink and the dish. The Singapore Sling, with its complex flavor profile, offers a versatile range of pairing options.

Origin of the Singapore sling cocktail

The Singapore Sling is a world-renowned cocktail that originated at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The most widely accepted story of its creation dates back to around 1915. The drink is attributed to Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender working in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel.

At the time, social conventions dictated that women could not consume alcohol in public, with the exception of fruit juices and teas. Ngiam Tong Boon ingeniously created a cocktail that looked like a fruit juice but was actually a clever mix of gin and other liqueurs, making it socially acceptable for women to enjoy it. The original recipe included gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine, and fresh pineapple juice, among other ingredients, giving it a distinctive pink hue and a complex, fruity flavor.

The exact original recipe is still a subject of debate, as the cocktail has undergone various modifications over the years. The original recipe was reportedly lost and then rediscovered, but many variations exist today in different parts of the world.

The Singapore Sling not only became a hit in Singapore but also gained international fame, becoming a staple in the repertoire of bartenders globally. Today, it is celebrated as a classic cocktail, embodying the fusion of Eastern and Western influences and symbolizing the vibrant, cosmopolitan essence of Singapore.

As our exploration of the Singapore Sling comes to a close, we’re left with a profound appreciation for not only the complexities of this iconic cocktail but also the rich tapestry of history and culture it embodies. From the bustling Long Bar at Raffles Hotel to modern-day bars around the world, the Singapore Sling has journeyed far, evolving and adapting, yet always retaining its exotic allure. This cocktail isn’t just a blend of spirits and flavors; it’s a testament to innovation, a symbol of Singapore’s vibrant heritage, and a beacon for cocktail enthusiasts everywhere. Whether you’re enjoying one under the swaying palms of Singapore or mixing it in your home bar, each sip of the Singapore Sling is a taste of history and an invitation to partake in a timeless tradition. So, as you savor the fruity, complex flavors of this legendary drink, remember that you’re not just enjoying a cocktail—you’re partaking in a storied legacy that continues to captivate and inspire.