Singapore Sling – The classic recipe

Singapore Sling - orange red classic cocktail served in a pilsner glass on ice, garnished with a lemon wheel and cocktail cherry

The Singapore Sling is tart, refreshing and combines gin, cherry liqueur, herbal liqueur, lemon, bitters and soda water. 


60 ml I 2 oz Gin
22 ml I 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
22 ml I 3/4 oz Bénédictine
22 ml I 3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 Dash Angostura Bitters
2 Dash Orange Bitters
50 ml I 1 2/3 oz Soda Water

Put all ingredients without soda into the shaker, shake, pour the soda into the highball, pilsner or sling glass. Then strain into the glass and stir carefully. Garnish with lemon wheel spiked with a cherry.

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The history of the Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling was invented at the beginning of the 20th century in the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The original recipe is attributed to Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon and is a variation of the „Gin Sling“. The first published version of this recipe appeared in „The Savoy Cocktail Book“, the 1930 classic by Harry Craddock.

How I mix my Singapore Sling

In the 1970s, the drink was unfortunately degraded to a sugary mix of gin, sweet and sour lemonade and grenadine. Many more modern versions result in an overly sweet drink that relies more on grenadine and pineapple juice than herbal liqueurs and soda water.

But which recipe is the right one?

There are many posts discussing which is actually a Singapore Sling or a Straits Sling. My recipe with soda water, but without pineapple juice and grenadine syrup, is based on the „Straits Sling“, which was later (partly) called Singapore Sling. Other bartenders prefer the version with pineapple and grenadine. This is not wrong, as there are also historical records of this recipe. To dissect the history into its individual parts would fill several pages…

My Singapore Sling is based on two recent recipes, both of which nevertheless use the recipe from the 1920s: Martin Cate – Smugglers Cove, San Francisco and Jörg Meyer –  Bar Le Lion, Hamburg. Both prefer the recipe with soda water without pineapple and grenadine.

The gin for the Singapore Sling

From a classic point of view, the drink requires a London Dry Gin such as Sipsmith London Dry. From an experimental point of view, Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin is a good choice. Le Lion bartender Marian Gadzewski is the man responsible when it comes to this twist. Bobby’s Gin, with its pronounced lemongrass notes, blends perfectly into the cocktail and adds to its complexity. A must try!

So grab your shaker and mix yourself a Singapore Sling. It’s worth it.


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