Bartenders have to memorize a lot of recipes. Fortunately, most of them - such as the Margarita or Whiskey Sour - follow the same formula. Then there’s the Singapore Sling. A bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon invented this drink around 1915 at the Raffles Hotel (in Singapore), and, to this day, bartenders struggle to memorize the recipe. Maybe that’s why you don’t see too many people drinking them. Given that the Singapore Sling is both delicious and alliterative, that’s the only explanation we’ve got. This cocktail is fizzy and complex, and it’s a great introduction to various liqueurs you may have never tried before, such as Cherry Heering and Benedictine. Get a bottle of each, and they’ll serve you well.
What it tastes like: Complex, mysterious, like a fruit punch you’d drink in formal wear
Why you should make one: It’s a classic, it’s crowd-pleasing, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.
Makes 1 Singapore Sling
- 1.75 ounces gin
- .75 ounce lime juice
- .25 ounce Benedictine
- .25 ounce triple sec
- .25 ounce Cherry Heering
- .25 ounce simple syrup or grenadine
- Sparkling water
- Angostura bitters
Step One: Angostura Bitters
Let’s start things off with Angostura bitters. Turn the bottle upside down, and put one dash in the bottom of your cocktail shaker.
Step Two: Lime Juice
Next, you need some lime fresh juice. Squeeze a lime, and add .75 ounce lime juice to your shaker.
Step Three: Triple Sec
Triple sec is a fancy way of saying orange liqueur. There are plenty of good varieties, but we tend to stick with Cointreau. Put .25 ounce triple sec in your shaker.
Step Four: Cherry Heering
You can probably guess what Cherry Heering tastes like. This is a commonly found cherry liqueur used in various cocktails, and it’s always useful to have a bottle around the house. Pour .25 ounce into your shaker.
Step Five: Benedictine
If you know anyone with a dusty bar cart or liquor cabinet that’s been accumulating bottles for several decades, they probably have a bottle of Benedictine. This herbal liqueur is just one of those things you buy then keep around forever - because most recipes only call for a tiny amount. In terms of taste, it’s like a friendlier version of Chartreuse. Add .25 ounce Benedictine to your shaker.
Step Six: Simple Syrup
Due to the Angostura bitters, the Singapore Sling can have a pretty bitter finish. That's why we like to add some simple syrup (equal parts white sugar and warm water). Grenadine is also a great choice, and it'll turn your drink pink as well. Add .25 ounce simple syrup (or .25 ounce grenadine) to your shaker.
Step Seven: Gin
It’s now time for gin. Find one you like, and pour 1.75 ounces into your shaker.
Step Eight: Shake And Strain
Add 5 or 6 ice cubes to your shaker, and shake for 20 seconds. Once you’re finished, strain your drink into a highball filled (to the rim) with ice.
Step Nine: Sparkling Water
There many different ways to make a Singapore Sling, and a lot of them call for pineapple juice. Unfortunately, when you use a bunch of pineapple juice, your drink tends to taste like a glass of pineapple juice. We prefer sparkling water. It makes for a lighter cocktail and helps you taste all the other stuff you took the time to throw in your cocktail. So top off your highball with seltzer, and garnish your Singapore Sling with a cherry and a lime wedge. And if you want, you can go ahead and eat that cherry right away. You’ve just made a very complex beverage, so you’ve earned it.