The best Singapore Slings

It’s a world-famous cocktail, but how many of us actually enjoy sipping a Singapore Sling? We pick out five versions that put the pride back in this locally shunned drink
Nutmeg & Clove - Singapore Sling
Photo: Vamos Photography
By Natasha Hong |
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Adrift - Singapore Sling
Photo: Vamos Photography
Restaurants

Adrift

icon-location-pin Marina Bay
Refreshing with a kick 
Tasked with creating the drinks for Adrift’s bar programme, bartender consultant Sam Ross keeps his Singapore Sling pretty true to the original – but made so much better with freshly squeezed juices and a more finessed balance. 

The bar team here loads a tall glass with pineapple juice, lemon juice, Cointreau and headier Benedictine DOM and Beefeater gin. The final, careful splash of red Cherry Heering turns it into the drink we all know, but love heaps better here.

Singapore Sling, $23
Hopscotch - Singapore Sling no. 6
Photo: Vamos Photography
Bars and pubs

Hopscotch

icon-location-pin Raffles Place
Modern and fun
Deceptively potent and super refreshing, Hopscotch’s pink drink has the same mix of gin – Tanqueray in this case – Cointreau, DOM, Grenadine and cherry brandy as the original Sling. But the citruses in the drink are extracted fresh, and pineapple made foamy to provide texture to the cocktail. Can we gush about the garnish, too? The topping of the cocktail umbrella makes cooling down with this drink none too pretentious.

Singapore Sling No 6, $22

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Nutmeg & Clove - Singapore Sling
Photo: Vamos Photography
Restaurants

Nutmeg & Clove

icon-location-pin Chinatown
Barrel-aged and rich
Nutmeg & Clove’s Sling spends a month ageing in an oak barrel, which explains the darker coloured drink that’s served in a porcelain cup atop a rattan trishaw, with a few shelled peanuts on the side.

The resulting drink, with notes of dark fruits, wood and a breath of alcohol, bears the hallmarks of Nutmeg’s signature creativity with Asian ingredients like dry hibiscus, goji berry syrup, Benedictine DOM and gin.

Singapore Sling, $20

Spiffy Dapper - Drugstore Cowboy
Photo: Vamos Photography
Bars and pubs

The Spiffy Dapper

icon-location-pin Tanjong Pagar
Spirit-forward and herbal
The Spiffy Dapper’s Abhishek Cherian George references the red drink’s predecessor, the Straits Sling, and its pared-down ingredients list for a cocktail that punches heavy in a chemist’s beaker. Fernet Branca, Becherovka, DOM and absinthe play up the herbal character of the drink, and each sip is strong and cinnamon-y, helped on by the stick of spicy bark sitting in the glass. You’ll get no sugar burn with this one.

Drugstore Cowboy, $24

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Restaurants, Italian

Osteria Mozza

icon-location-pin Marina Bay
Herbal and fresh
For Osteria Mozza's take on the local classic, the restaurant's ex-bar manager Lucas Swallows and general manager Owen Edson pored through library archives to find historical references to the drink. What they uncovered was an ordering hack that Singapore Cricket Club members employed in the 1910s to make a sunny-day drink named the Red Sling. As the Club's bar thought it was tacky to make the cocktail, members would order a soda water with lime and three shots of gin, cherry brandy, and Benedictine DOM on the side to pour into the drink, which is today considered the predecessor to the Singapore Sling. And you can now get it at Osteria Mozza's marbled-topped Mozarella Bar. The fruity, fresh drink is sweetened by Peter Heering, with the woody, herbaceous notes of Benedictine DOM punching through. Don't miss. 

Singapore Sling (1913), $24 
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