If you’re looking for a quintessential Singapore experience, look no further than the iconic Raffles Hotel and its signature cocktail, the Singapore Sling.
This historic hotel, located in the heart of Singapore, has been a beloved institution since it first opened its doors in 1887. Over the years, Raffles Hotel has welcomed countless famous faces and served up its famous cocktail to thirsty travellers from around the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor to Singapore, sipping a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Coincidentally, Singapore was the birthplace of the famous cocktail and also yours truly! I’m not sure how old I was when I first set foot in Raffles. But I never miss an opportunity to go back.
Join me as I recount indulging in the ultimate Singaporean tradition with my wife last October.
History of Raffles Hotel and the Singapore Sling
Singapore’s Raffles Hotel is an iconic landmark and has stood the test of time for over a century. The hotel has been the destination of choice for the rich and famous, including royalty and celebrities, and is famous for its colonial architecture and luxurious amenities.
But one of the most famous things about the Raffles Hotel is the Singapore Sling. The refreshing cocktail was created in the hotel’s Long Bar in 1915.
Having a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel is a rite of passage for anyone who visits Singapore. The drink is so popular that it has become synonymous with the city-state, and it’s a must-try for anyone who appreciates a good cocktail.
Walking through the doors of the Raffles Hotel feels like stepping back in time. The hotel’s colonial architecture and lush greenery made me feel like I was in a different era. The Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was created is equally impressive.
The Long Bar is just one part of the Raffles Hotel, which is a landmark in Singapore. The hotel has a rich history, having hosted many famous guests over the years, including Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, and Charlie Chaplin. The hotel’s architecture is stunning, with white colonial buildings set amidst lush tropical gardens.
The Raffles Hotel Experience
The hotel’s recently renovation has restored it to its former glory. The Long Bar has also undergone a facelift, with new furnishings and décor that pay homage to the bar’s colonial roots.
The Long Bar is always bustling with visitors, so be prepared to wait for a table during peak hours. Once you are seated, take a moment to soak in the atmosphere.
The bar has an old-world charm that’s hard to find anywhere else. Elegant ceiling fans create a gentle breeze keeping the air cool and comfortable. Rattan chairs add to the colonial décor and the large wooden bar has been polished to a shine over the years.
Chatter and laughter fills the bar. As you’d expect from one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, the staff are friendly and attentive, but not overbearing. Dressed in white shirts and black pants, they had an air of professionalism that’s hard to miss.
We’re handed a complimentary gunny sack of peanuts. We dive straight into them and are encouraged to sweep the empty shells onto the floor. Discarded peanut shells cover the floor. Bizarrely it adds to the bar’s casual atmosphere.
Ordering a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel
Ordering a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar is an experience in itself. The drink is a vibrant pink colour, and it’s incredibly refreshing on one of Singapore’s notorious hot and humid days.
The Singapore Sling
We temporarily take a seat at the bar and order a Singapore Sling. The bartender smiles and gets to work. When your Singapore Sling arrives, take a moment to appreciate its presentation.
The bartender pours gin, Cherry Brandy, Benedictine, and Cointreau into a shaker. He adds pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and finally a dash of Angostura bitters to complete the elaborate combination.
He pauses and then shakes our cocktails vigorously before straining them into tall glasses. The glasses are tall and elegant. Pineapple slices and a cherries add a pop of colour to our cocktail. Our Singapore Slings are ready.
We decide to find a nice cosy spot. Taking our eagerly anticipated first sip, we immediately taste the sweetness of the Cherry Brandy and pineapple juice. The gin’s crispness and the lime juice’s acidity quickly follow.
A slight bitterness from the bitters perfectly balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Singapore Sling Price Soars to New Heights: Luxury Cocktail Now Costs $48!
At SGD 48 each, we sip our drinks slowly, not wishing to waste a single drop! As we soak up the bar’s cosy atmosphere, peanut shells crunch underfoot. Ceiling fans, and the chatter of the patrons all add to the experience.
I can’t help but think about the history of the Singapore Sling. Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created the cocktail in 1915.
He initially intended it be a drink for women. Many people thought it was inappropriate for them to drink alcohol in public at the time.
He combined the red of the grenadine and sweet taste of pineapple to disguise the cocktail’s alcoholic ingredients. It became an instant hit, and quickly became popular with both men and women. It’s remained a beloved cocktail in Singapore (and my household) ever since.
Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar has served Singapore Slings for over a century, and the recipe has remained unchanged. It’s a testament to the bar and cocktail’s timeless appeal.
We finish our drinks, knowing that a Singapore Sling is more than just a cocktail. It’s a symbol of Singapore’s history and culture. It represents the city-state’s cosmopolitan nature and its ability to embrace new ideas while staying true to its traditions.
Singapore Sling: A Timeless Iconic Drink That Continues to Captivate Cocktail Lovers Worldwide
Are you a fan of iconic drinks and legendary experiences? Don’t miss the chance to have a Singapore Sling at the historic Raffles Hotel in Singapore!
Created over a century ago, the signature cocktail remains a must-try for travellers and locals alike. From the elegant colonial architecture to the Long Bar’s lively atmosphere, every aspect of Raffles Hotel adds to the magic of this experience.
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So why wait? Plan your trip to Singapore now and stop by the Long Bar for a taste of history in a glass and a mandatory Instagram memory. You won’t regret it.