The Drink Of The Weekend: The Singapore Sling

As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.

When most people think of Singapore, if they think of Singapore at all, it’s usually in the context of one of two things:

One is as “That place somewhere over there where they beat you with a cane if you litter or throw gum on the sidewalk.”

The Singapore Sling tastes even better than it looks.
The No. 2, yet most-important thing you think about when you think about Singapore…The Singapore Sling

This is true, by the way. And I think if more American punk kids knew that they were going to get 10 or 15 whacks across the ass with a rattan cane if they threw they’re empty Monster beverage cans on the street, I might see a little less crap on the streets of the financial district in downtown San Francisco where I work.

[The preceding message was brought to you by Rex Crum, A Cranky Old Man.]

The second is because of the drink, the Singapore Sling.

I have actually been to Singapore and spent a week there in 1995. There was one thing above all else that I wanted to do in Singapore and that was drink a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel. The Raffles is named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British explorer and statesman who founded Singapore in 1819, and is one of those great, old hotels from the colonial era when the sun never set on the British Empire. You might not be able to afford a room at the Raffles, but you can certainly take a place at the hotel’s Long Bar, eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor, see the spot where a tiger was shot after it wandered into the lobber, and imagine you’re the British High Commissioner having drinks with Rudyard Kipling.

And if you’re going to have a drink in Singapore, it might as well be a Singapore Sling. But if you can’t make it over to Singapore, there’s no excuse for not enjoying a Sling out on the back deck while grilling up some surf (lobster tails) and turf (bone-in ribeyes that lean toward rare on the medium rare side of the equation).

Which is exactly what I did this past Memorial Day weekend.

Having the extra day for a three-day weekend was only a bonus when it came to making up and enjoying some Singapore Sling. Making a Sling the right way takes more time than just opening a bottle of gin and pouring it over some ice. If you’re going to make this drink, you best do it right. And the three-day weekend helps, because that gives you an extra day of Sling-Drinking fun.

So, to make a Singapore Sling…Here’s how I do it.

1.5 oz. Gin. (I used Tanqueray, but any good gin will work)
1 oz. Cointreau
¼ oz. Benedictine
1 oz. orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed) or pineapple juice¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice (if you’re not going to squeeze the lemons, then you don’t deserve this drink)
Club soda
Cherry Heering, or another good cherry liquer.

Pour the first five ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. After shaking thoroughly, pour everything into a tall glass with ice. Use a highball or sling glass, if you have it. Otherwise, any tall glass will do. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, add a drizzle of the cherry Heering, and then garnish with a cherry and a lemon wheel.

Surf, Turf and a Singapore Sling. Thank me.
Surf, Turf and a Singapore Sling. Thank me.

Yeah, I know. You might have some Cointreau in your liquor cabinet. It’s possible you have some Benedictine. And you probably don’t have, nor have ever heard of cherry Heering. Well, depending on what day it is, God or the devil is in the details, and the details make a difference with a drink like the Singapore Sling. Go to you local BevMo or other good booze shop and stock up on those liqueurs. Even if you use them just once a year, you’ll impress your friends enough to make them think you got your mixology degree at the Raffles itself.

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