Although the Singapore Sling dates back to the early 20th century; this South-East Asian cocktail became popular in the West in the 1970s. This coincided with the popularity of all things Asian at the time, with fashion such as Oriental silks and exotic prints being in style.
As with many cocktails, the recipe for a Singapore Sling has changed over time, and the authenticity is always disputed. However, here's a recipe based on the original drink made in the Raffles Hotel that has been handed down, ready to be served in your favourite vintage highball glass.
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Ingredients (per person)
- 25ml good quality gin
- 25ml cherry brandy – easy to find online, and is often stocked in shops around Christmas
- 25ml lemon juice
- 10ml Grenadine
- 5ml Benedictine – a herbal liquor available at larger supermarkets
1. Add plenty of ice to a shaker, then add the gin and all the other liquid ingredients
2. Shake the mixture until it's chilled
3. Using a cocktail strainer, pour the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice cubes
This stylish, deep red cocktail is perfect for serving on romantic evenings for two, or when you have guests round, and its simplicity means that it's easy to make for a crowd.
There are no particular rules on how to finish off a Singapore Sling, but if you're going for the retro look, then you may as well go over the top. A slice of orange or lemon plus a cherry on a stick makes for a classic cocktail finish, or you can go a little more exotic with a wedge of pineapple for a fruity finish. It never hurts to add a cocktail umbrella either, for that truly 1970s feel.
Vintage style cocktails make any occasion cool, especially when served in a retro glass from your local flea market, and with a little extra flair on top. The 1970s aesthetic is becoming increasingly popular, with lots of fashion and homeware being inspired by this colourful decade, and so you can expect to see many more cocktails of the era being served up in bars.