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The best Singapore Slings

It’s a world-famous cocktail, but how many of us actually enjoy sipping a Singapore Sling? These joints put the Lion City pride back in the locally shunned drink. By Lee Sihan

Robbery at the Museum, Smoke&Mirrors
By Time Out Singapore editors |
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As iconic as the Raffles Hotel Long Bar where it was first created, the Singapore Sling has been our city's national cocktail since 1915. Back then, women couldn't be seen drinking alcohol in public, so bartender Ngiam Tong Boon made a tipple that looked like fruit punch for all to enjoy away from judging eyes.

The concoction is shaken with gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao, Bénédictine, grenadine and cherry liqueur – but don't look down on its innocent pink hue, this boozy bev packs a punch. Clearly, the drink caught on and there are now plenty of bars across Singapore that serve this sweet and fruity beverage. Here are some slingin' it their way.

RECOMMENDED: The best craft beer bars in Singapore and the best wine bars in Singapore

Bars and pubs

Smoke & Mirrors

icon-location-pin City Hall

Situated on the top floor of the National Gallery, Smoke & Mirrors has stellar views of the iconic Padang and Marina Bay as well as killer cocktails where everything is more than meets the eye. Its rendition of the Singapore Sling is cheekily titled Robbery at the Museum ($28) and is crafted with fermented pineapple tepache instead of regular pineapple juice. Cherry brandy, Maraschino liquor and house-made cherry bitters are combined with locally distilled gin to create more complex layers of flavour compared to the usual sour cherry and gin blend.

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Junior

icon-location-pin Tanjong Pagar

If tiki bars are your thing, make sure to check out Junior – a pint-sized bar hidden in a back alley along Tanjong Pagar.  The bar has not just one, but two, Slings on its menu. The more traditional version ($25) is crafted with Ford’s Gin, Benedictine, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco Cherry Brandy and dry Curacao. Then there’s the Farquhar’s Sling ($25), a more rebellious representation, fuelled with Plantation pineapple rum, homemade tepache and topped with champagne for an effervescent finish. 

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Restaurants, Fusion

Tess Bar & Kitchen

icon-location-pin City Hall

Just a stone’s throw away from the historic birthplace of the Singapore Sling lies the cosy Tess Bar & Kitchen, which feels more like a homey café than buzzy bar. Order its rendition of the Singapore Sling ($18), which is powered by Bickens London Dry Gin for a velvety and spicy finish. As much as we love the drinks here, the food deserves a shout too. The nondescript joint continually doles out delectable bar food till late every night.

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Court Martial Bar

icon-location-pin City Hall

Revel in a piece of Singapore’s history at JW Marriott's Court Martial Bar. The joint used to be a court martial centre for the Singapore Armed Forces from 1967 to 2000, but has now given way to this lush watering hole. Sink into your velvety cushioned seats and sip on The Heritage Sling ($22), a direct recreation of the 1915 Singapore Sling dedicated to the pioneering batch of soldiers in the national army. 

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Bars and pubs

Cable Car 1890's Saloon

icon-location-pin Orchard

Once you’ve settled into the musky environment of this age-old institution, peruse its extensive menu or dive right in and order its Singapore Sling ($17). The drink pays homage to its raffish heritage with Bankes dry gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Bénédictine DOM, pineapple and lime juice and a dash of bitters. Take a sip and be instantly transported to the year 1915.

post bar, fullerton hotel
Photo: Ulso Tsang
Clubs

Post Bar

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

The classy Post Bar takes up what once was the transaction hall of the old General Post Office, and effortlessly combines a rich history with a touch of modern elegance. A perennial favourite among business leaders and the affluent, the bar maintains its level of sophistication with a comprehensive beverage list based on premium liquors, signature cocktails and an exceptional collection of cigars from all over the world. Sip on its version of the Singapore Sling ($24), enlivened with thyme-infused gin for a bit of herbaceous brightness to match the lush alfresco setting of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

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Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Manhattan

icon-location-pin Orchard

Manhattan Bar uses artisanal spirits and craft bartending to pay homage to the classic cocktail. Joko Kanu Coconut Rum, fino sherry and Cherry Heering take centre stage, with pineapple foam as the Sling's crowning glory. The cocktail is also barrel-aged in American oak barrels for six weeks to impart woody vanilla notes. Do note that the cocktail is only available on Manhattan's legendary adults-only Sunday brunch menu. 

Clubs

Lantern

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

Soak up the sights and sounds of the Marina Bay waterfront from Fullerton Bay Hotel’s swanky rooftop bar. If you’re looking for some relief from the humidity, do yourself a favour and order one of its variations of the Singapore Sling. The Sweet Passion Sling ($25) emphasises the tropical heritage of the cocktail with passionfruit and dragon fruit but those with more of a sweet tooth will enjoy the Peach Beer Sling ($26), crafted with peach liquor, raspberry and peach.

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Bars and pubs

CÉ LA VI

icon-location-pin Marina Bay

Part dining destination, part nightspot and bar, CÉ LA VA is where you can indulge in a Singapore Sling ($23) with a view. Made with Tanqueray London Gin, benedictine and the usual suspects, the fruity cocktail tastes extra sweet when paired with stunning panoramic views of Marina Bay 57 floors above ground.

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Long Bar

icon-location-pin City Hall

No list of Slings would be complete without the OG. Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar pioneered the classic Singapore Sling ($32), which is made with juniper-forward Widges Gin, custom-made grenadine syrup and bitters. Also try out its sling variations including the Raffles 1915 Gin Sling ($28), made using Sipsmith’s Raffles 1915 gin, or the Sakura Sling ($28) using Dassai 50 Sake, calvados and St Germaine Elderflower liquor – a blend that celebrates 50 years of bilateral relations between Singapore and Japan. Snag a drink at the bar and revel in its old-world charm. Don't forget to throw your peanut shells on the floor for the full experience.

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