The Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling is a decent drink often made worse by laziness. I can’t tell you the number of times somebody has told me that a Singapore Sling is a Shirley Temple

Singapore Sling

with gin. While some people might think that is delicious, but it’s not a Sling. It is certainly not equal to the actual Singapore Sling. I guess somebody couldn’t remember the recipe and whipped up this approximation.
The funny thing is, this is may be the way the Singapore Sling as we know it today came into being.
Even Raffles Hotel, will admit that it doesn’t know what went into Ngiam Ton Boon’s refreshing long drink. And, the love to let people know they’re the birthplace of Singapore’s national drink,
What’s is the Singapore Sling Drink Recipe?
Well, it’s a deliciously refreshing drink made with gin, lemon juice, maybe some lime juice, ice, soda…
From there, depending on whom you ask, it becomes a dizzying array of juices, liqueurs, syrups. Usually, there’s some cherry brandy in there somewhere. Except some people insist on kirschwasser. Then there are those for whom maraschino liqueur is the cherry flavoring of choice.
A dash of Benedictine is usually on the list. Except for the odd bartender who uses Cointreau. I’m partial to a variation using Amaretto. Throw in some bitters, juice of varying description and some soda and you’re good to go.

So What is a Sling Then?

That’s a little easier. A sling is a classic cocktail. It’s made with spirits, sugar, citrus juice and lengthened with soda water or ginger ale.
Among the many drinks given credit for being the first ‘cocktail’ you’ll find the sling. It is a toddy without the spice and nobody minds if you serve it cold.
If you want to try the most basic sling start with 2 ounces of your favorite spirit. Add 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and 1/2 ounce of 1:1 simple syrup. Shake it up in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain it into a sling glass (a collins glass or a hurricane glass will do fine). Top with soda water or ginger ale and enjoy.
You might recognize that formula from the Sour Cocktail post.

Singapore Sling Drink Recipe


  • 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Brandy
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Amaretto
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters


  1. Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with three large ice cubes.
  2. Shake vigorously for 10 - 15 seconds.
  3. Strain into a collins or hurricane glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple and cherry flag.