David vs. Goliath – The Singapore Sling

1915 was an important year in Singaporean history – it witnessed the Sepoy Mutiny, an insurrection of 850 Indian soldiers against the British Empire which marked a pivotal moment in the relation of two countries eventually resulting in Singapore’s independence.

At the same time, another, much quieter battle was fought on the gender equality front. While suffragette movement was in full sway in the mother country, women in the Crown colony of Singapore were suffering the same inequalities and double standards. Drinking alcohol was one of them.

The social elite at the time was idling away at the Raffles Hotel (named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore) and its nectarous source, the Long Bar. While men were buzzing over glasses filled with gin and single malts, women were condemned to sobriety and were slumped over a cup of brownish tea or waiting for a pineapple juice to ferment just a bit to lend a pinkish hue to the dull colonial life.

Where one sees only malady and despair, the industrious mind sees an opportunity. Luckily, such was the mind of Ngiam Tong Boon, a bartender at the Long Bar. According to the legend, he felt sorry for the dejected damsels and infused their pinkish juices with clear alcohol thus creating the world famous Singapore Sling. David has once again found a way to defeat the mighty Goliath while the ladies could cheerfully mingle amongst the crowd and keep a genuine smile on their face!

Nowadays, the Singapore Sling has become the national drink of Singapore and the Long Bar is teeming with tourists elbowing to taste this treat. With the price at c. 25$ per glass, some estimate that Raffles makes about 10m $ a year solely from the flagship cocktail. The corny question “Is it worth it?” deserves a corny answer “Come and try for yourself!”

There are several versions available nowadays, one for each season and a couple of offsprings. Gone.Cooking has tried only the original and we fully endorse it.

  1. Gin – 3 cl
  2. Cherry Heering – 1.5 cl
  3. D.O.M. Bénédictine –0.75 cl
  4. Cointreau – 0.75 cl
  5. Sarawak Pineapple Juice – 12 cl
  6. Lime Juice – 1.5 cl
  7. Grenadine – 1cl
  8. Angostura bitters – a dash
  9. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

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