Singapore Sling – and an Ode to Modern Dance

  IMG_6604 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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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!


15 thoughts on “Singapore Sling – and an Ode to Modern Dance

  1. 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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  2. 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

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