Also called “The Immortal Singapore Raffles Gin Sling,” the ‘Singapore Sling’ was encountered by Charles Baker, Jr., in 1926 “and afterwards never forgotten.” Of course, all the cocktails featured on the “Jigger, Beaker, Flask” flight come from this legendary writer, and the Gin Sling from the Raffles Hotel seems to have been a particularly memorable cocktail for him. The passage about the Gin Sling lists many other examples from various hotels and clubs from Cairo to Jakarta, but the Long Bar at the Raffles is the standout.
The Raffles Hotel was established in 1887 and was purchased by the Sarkie brothers between 1890 and 1894, who still owned the hotel in the 1920s when Baker visited. Baker’s passage has aged a little poorly but still provides hilarious imagery including something about shark nets off the beach to protect swimmers, a short list of contemporary celebrities, and an awesome story about a picnic interrupted by rain—all ending with this incredible epithet for the Raffles Gin Sling: “a delicious, slow-acting, insidious thing.”
The Raffle’s Gin Sling seems to have appeared in the mid 1910s and is a hotly contested and often disliked classic cocktail, and much more can be found about its origins. According to Baker, the original recipe called for equal parts dry gin, cherry brandy, and Benedictine, shaken or stirred with two lumps of ice, topped with soda in a 10oz high ball. His personal alteration doubled the portion of gin to other ingredients.
Our variation also adds a bit of Cointreau and a dash of house monk bitters. For Volume #3, the Singapore Sling joins the East India Cocktail and the Planter’s Punch on our “Jigger, Beaker, Flask” flight.