The one place you shouldn’t order a Singapore Sling is the one place most people will tell you to get it: the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, where the hot-pink drink was invented in the early 1900s. Problem is, today’s Long Bar isn’t where Noel Coward, Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham tipped back the sweet mix of liqueurs, gin, juice, grenadine and bitters.
Raffles rebuilt its Long Bar into a shopping complex that’s beside the famous five-star hotel but not in it. And the famous drink? It’s made from a mix, served in a souvenir glass (pay extra if you want to keep it) with a slice of pineapple and maraschino cherry that’s sweet enough to make your teeth scream. $30; 1 Beach Road, raffles.com/singapore
On your flight: Singapore Airlines offers it gratis during its drinks service. Flight attendants serve the premade cocktail from a plastic bottle into a plastic glass with a plastic swizzle stick. It’s sweet as a Jolly Rancher candy, but free drinks at 30,000 feet? It’s hard to complain too much. Free; singaporeairlines.com
At a rooftop bar: At 1-altitude you’ll find a true, bartender-made Singapore Sling (no premixes here) and a take-your-breath-away, 360 view of the city. The drink tastes fresh (and not just because you’re 63 storeys high), since a heavier hand with the gin makes it a tad less sweet. At night the city lights are dazzling and you can dance with local and expat financiers; in the daytime you can watch the busy harbour and see Malaysia and Indonesia in the distance. $18; One Raffles Place; 1-altitude.com
At a hip restaurant: For a modern interpretation, spend an evening at Amaro Bar at Osteria Mozza restaurant in the Marina Bay Sands hotel shopping complex. The Italian wine list is deep and the cocktails are creative, but see what bar manager and mixologist Lucas Swallows has done to the Singapore Sling. “The recipe has been a subject of hot debate for close to a century. ... Osteria Mozza’s version pays homage to the recipe detailed in a 1913 article from the Singapore Weekly Sun. This article made reference to ‘a really decent Sling’ at the time, which contained ‘one cherry brandy, one Domb [i.e., D.O.M. Bénédictine], one gin, one lime juice, some ice and [soda] water, [and] a few dashes of bitters.’ Our Singapore Sling (1913) emulates this recipe, and as a result, is a much less sweet and delightfully refreshing cocktail that packs a flavourful punch.” $22; 10 Bayfront Ave.; marinabaysands.com
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