Singapore Sling – and an Ode to Modern Dance

I feel a close affinity to the Singapore Sling cocktail. Think back to the 1970’s when I taught modern dance at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. After teaching two hours of Martha Graham contractions, spiralling falls to the floor and other crazy movements, I was ready for a stiff drink. Len and I would traipse across the street to O’Henry’s Tavern to settle into a Reuben Sandwich and a large Singapore Sling cocktail. Not content with just one cocktail, I swigged down two ‘Sing Slings’ to ease my tired body and to forget I had to wake up the next morning and do it all over again. These two drinks packed a wallop and each time, I wound up with my head face down on the table.

Len’s aunt was working there as a waitress at the time and I said to him, “Please don’t let Aunt Sylvia see me like this!” Well, she saw me alright!

The Singapore Sling was invented at the famous Raffles Hotel sometime around 1910 by Ngiam Tong Boon, although it is doubtful that the modern day cocktail resembles the original one. I’ve heard that the Long Bar at Raffles charges $35 for each Singapore Sling and is already pre-mixed. Better to make your own and make it just the way you like! Singapore Slings typically contain gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple and lime juice and Angostura bitters. You can also add Grenadine, but I left this out since my liquor bill was starting to explode.

Here is a picture of your required ingredients- I highly recommend this cocktail as a refreshing New Years Eve drink, but here’s a warning. Only drink one glass instead of two – Aunt Sylvia may be watching!!  

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Singapore Sling - and an Ode to Modern Dance
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
A refreshing, fruity drink- great for New Years Eve or anytime!
  • 60 ml Gin
  • 30 ml Cherry Brandy
  • 15 ml Cointreau
  • 15 ml Benedictine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Splash of Angostura bitters
  • 10 ml Grenadine (optional)
  • Slice of lime or pineapple for garnish + cherry
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes.
  2. Add all the ingredients into the shaker. Close the lid and shake for about 1 minute until the shaker feels cold to the touch.
  3. Strain the ingredients into a glass, almost to the top. Add crushed ice. Garnish with either a lime or pineapple slice, plus a cherry. Enjoy!


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  • Joanne T Ferguson
    December 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    G’day Fran, I remember the Singapore Sling very well, TRUE!
    Light and fruity, but deceiving with the knock out punch it affectionately delivers too! lol
    Cheers! Joanne
    Joanne T Ferguson recently posted…#Foodie Friends Friday Best of 2013 PartyMy Profile

  • [email protected] Creekside Cook
    December 30, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Fran, you inspire me to try this great looking drink! Maybe I will just stick to one though. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours!
    [email protected] Creekside Cook recently posted…Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt CakeMy Profile

  • [email protected] Riffs
    December 30, 2013 at 4:48 am

    I love the Singapore Sling! Great color, terrific flavor. Although I always like serving mine with a little cocktail umbrella. 😉 There’s a drink called the Strait’s Sling which might actually be a bit closer to the original Singapore Sling (although no one really knows for sure). Basically the same drink, but a bit less sweet. Fun post – thanks. And Happy New Year!
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  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    December 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

    A dance teacher and a chef and who knows what else we’re going to learn about you, Fran. I love this drink but honestly, more than one and I have to be dragged off the table.

    Happy New Year, my friend!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Glazed Chocolate DonutsMy Profile

    • Fran
      January 1, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Happy New Year to you, too! Yes, when you’ve lived a long life, it can be interesting to look back and see what sort of strange and wonderful things we’ve done in our lives.
      Fran recently posted…Singapore Sling – and an Ode to Modern DanceMy Profile

  • Rachel @ sweetravioli
    December 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I enjoyed this story Fran! And the drink looks delicious!
    Rachel @ sweetravioli recently posted…Appliances Online’s 8th Birthday Cake Decorating ClassMy Profile

  • [email protected] Recipes
    December 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Awesome clicks.…..

  • Juliana
    December 31, 2013 at 6:09 am

    OMG! You taught dance? How fun…I love dance but do not have the skill…
    I used to always order Singapore sling, but yet have to make it at home…thanks for the recipe…looks perfect for the New Year Eve celebration.
    Happy New Year Fran 😀
    Juliana recently posted…Happy Holidays and Strawberry Icebox CakeMy Profile

  • GourmetGetaways
    January 2, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I love Singapore Slings, although they pack a huge punch for something that taste just like juice! I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    GourmetGetaways recently posted…New Years Resolutions 2014My Profile

  • Joanne
    January 2, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I’ve never had a sling of any kind, but I can tell I’d love it based on the fruity flavor!! Mmm.
    Joanne recently posted…Miso-Harissa Roasted Carrot, Squash, and Two-Potato SaladMy Profile

  • Rachel
    January 7, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Hi Fran, this cocktail looks delicious. I have never tried a Singapore Sling but looking at yours has made me what one. Thanks for the recipe xx

  • Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice
    February 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Absolutely delicious – such a great recipe!
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