Singapore Sling

Singapore Sling cocktail

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled highball glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

The Singapore Sling first emerged in the early 1900s when it became popular to take one's gin sling with a little cherry brandy. There's a story that it was invented at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore but what's not so clear is what was in it. Even in the late 1940s David Embury writes in his book that of all the published recipes for the Singapore Sling he has never seen any two that were alike.

As with so many myths regarding the origin of cocktails the Raffles Hotel story is just that—a story. The drink was likely well known for over a decade before. And thanks to David Wondrich, and the younger members of the Singapore Cricket Club who demanded that they be served one in the club bar, we even have a recipe.

The recipe above is our own amalgam of a recipe from with one from Dale DeGroff's book while paying homage to the recipe claimed as the original by the Raffles Hotel. It is a little sweet and there is a strong taste of pineapple but it is not overpowering. It tastes a little like a classic Tiki drink although it's origins lie some forty years before the Tiki craze. (The younger members of the Singapore Cricket Club omit the pineapple and the Cointreau—we'll have to try that sometime.)

The cherry liqueur is likely to have been Cherry Heering. You really do need to squeeze fresh pineapple. We first tried to squeeze fresh pineapple chunks with our old-fashioned juicer which was possible but messy. It is easier to squeeze slices of whole pineapple. If you do so, leave the skin on to make it easier.