Recently enjoying an extensive restoration, Raffles Hotel Singapore has gone to great lengths to retain the ambience and service so loved by its devoted clientele while appealing to those who are yet to experience its charms. Cosy social spaces and courtyards, new restaurants and bars are all part of the recipe along with treasured venues including the Long Bar, the mention of which triggered a fond memory.
|The Sling at the Long Bar. © Raffles Hotel Singapore|
My last visit to the hotel a few years ago was to attend an intimate, luxurious wedding reception in a private dining room. Between copious intriguing courses I was whisked away on a tour of some timber walkways framed by arches. My guide (a fellow wedding guest) hurried me along and I lost a heel from one of my slingback shoes on the way – I planned to return in daylight to look for it but that didn't happen. Despite my not being well-heeled, we all had a last drink in the Long Bar after the reception dinner. Inevitably, the group decision was that a Singapore Sling would make up for my loss!
Star of the Long Bar
It's too late to retrace those exact steps now, but happily the Long Bar remains, complete with the iconic Singapore Sling now revitalised after its own makeover. Using craft ingredients, the cocktail's taste has been refreshed to suit modern palates while the use of ecoSPIRITS makes it more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
|New delivery for the Singapore Sling. ©Raffles Hotel Singapore.|
Adding to its accolades, the Singapore Sling has become the forerunner for Raffles Hotel Singapore in its move to reduce single-use waste and the carbon footprint. Working with Proof & Company and patent-pending ecoSPIRITS technology, key ingredients Widges Gin, Luxardo Cherry Sanque Morlacco and Ferrand Dry Curaçao are delivered to Long Bar in patent-pending ecoTOTETM format, saving tens of thousands of glass bottles each year.
Cocktail in Disguise
Originally created in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender at Raffles Hotel Singapore, the Singapore Sling cleverly disguised a cocktail as fruit juice. Why? Etiquette required that ladies shouldn't consume alcohol in public, so their choice of beverage was limited to tea and fruit juices. Ngiam Tong Boon saw an opportunity, creating a cocktail that looked like a fruit juice but was actually infused with gin and other liqueurs. It was a hit!
He used pineapple and lime juices for a tropical flavour and cleverly masked it in pink with grenadine syrup to give it a feminine flair, leading people to think it was a socially acceptable drink for women. Today the Sling continues to delight and inspire with its rich heritage and now a fresh taste. It's also the subject of a new Slingology cocktail bar collaboration in Singapore.
Slingology for Guest Bartenders
Raising a glass to the Singapore Sling, Slingology partners with guest bartenders to create and present their own Sling-inspired concoctions at Long Bar, building camaraderie within the tight-knit local bartending fraternity while engaging cocktail enthusiasts and the community at large.
On the last Sunday of each month, a guest bartender will make a special appearance at Long Bar to present his or her rendition of the Singapore Sling, alongside a few of their own other favourite cocktails. Following this one-day pop up, the Sling-inspired creations will continue to be available for one month before the next guest bartender arrives and the offering refreshes.
Guests can enjoy a complimentary Singapore Sling when they order the original Sling or the guest bartender’s inspired spin-off. Available until 31 August 2021, this exclusive promotion welcomes the community back to the historic Long Bar to experience its lively ambience with plantation-inspired décor while celebrating this world-renowned cocktail.