Singapore Sling

If you've never made Sling Business, now's the time to learn how.

Singapore Sling Cocktail Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
1 drink

"The Singapore Sling is one of my favorite tropical cocktails," says Julie Reiner, author and co-owner of the world-renowned cocktail bar, Clover Club. Reiner’s take on the classic cocktail doesn’t stray far from the original, mixing gin, pineapple juice, and bitters, along with a blend of liqueurs she calls Sling Business, which calls for a mix of cherry liqueur, Benedictine, homemade grenadine, and Cointreau or triple sec. The cocktail’s garnish is also a stunner: a maraschino cherry nestled into a lemon round and threaded through a cocktail pick. With gin as its primary spirit, the cocktail is a variation on an American Gin Sling, a simple cocktail made with gin, citrus, sweetener, and plenty of ice. The additions of cherry and pineapple give the Singapore Sling its refreshing, tropical, and fruity flavor –– and makes it incredibly so easy to drink.  

Most cocktail historians credit the recipe to a bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon, who is said to have mixed the first Sling around 1915 at the Long Bar inside Singapore's Raffles Hotel. The hotel is large and majestic, with an architectural style reminiscent of the 144 years when Singapore was part of the British Colonies –– it was during that time when London Dry gin became popular. Since the Raffles Hotel opened in 1887, the Long Bar quickly became a popular meeting place for folks on the road. In fact, the bar was churning out so many Singapore Slings each night that they manufactured a hand-cranked machine to shake multiple cocktails simultaneously. If you find yourself at the Long Bar, be sure to give it a try.

The original recipe has vibrant, freshly squeezed citrus juice and a complimentary blend of liqueurs and spirits. Unfortunately, the Singapore Sling faced the same disappointing fate as many cocktails in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when fresh juice was replaced with pre-made sour mix and bottled, artificial grenadine. The result is a sickly-sweet cocktail that strays from the refreshing early 20th century cocktail. The saccharine version even became so popular that in the 1980s, the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel served two variations of the Singapore Sling: one made with citrus juice, and the other with sour mix. In recent years, cocktail experts like Julie Reiner have been serving artisanal versions of the drink that do justice to the recipe’s original intention. –– Lucy Simon


Sling Business

  • 1/4 ounce cherry liqueur

  • 1/4 ounce Benedictine

  • 1/4 ounce grenadine

  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec

Singapore Sling

  • 1 ½ gin, preferably Plymouth

  • 1 ounce Sling Business (See Note)

  • 1 1/2 ounces chilled pineapple juice

  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters

  • 1 brandied cherry skewered on a pick with 1 pineapple wedge, for garnish


Make Sling Business

  1. In a jar, stir together cherry liqueur, Bénédictine, grenadine, and Cointreau or other triple sec. Shake for 15 seconds, or until combined.

Make Singapore Sling

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, Sling Business, pineapple juice, and bitters. Shake until chilled, between 15-20 seconds.

  2. Strain shaker into a chilled, ice-filled coupe and garnish the drink with the skewered cherry and pineapple wedge.

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