With the famous Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling, at the Raffles Hotel closed for renovations until mid-2018, lovers of the fruity drink have a good excuse to get out into the city and try various takes on the classic cocktail by mixologists across the island.
Nutmeg & Clove
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Asian, Pub Grub
Barrel Aged Singapore Sling | Courtesy of Nutmeg & Clove
The only thing Culture Trip loves more than the atmosphere at Nutmeg & Clove, the former headquarters of the Cantonese clan association, is their extensive list of Asian-inspired cocktails. The Singapore Sling at Nutmeg & Clove is aged for a month in an oak barrel, giving it a pleasingly bitter flavour compared to its predecessor. Their recipe includes hibiscus-infused gin, Benedictine DOM and berry syrup. The final cocktail is presented in a traditional porcelain tea cup sitting in a rattan trishaw.
Sitting on top of the National Gallery is Smoke & Mirrors, a stunning bar looking out over the Padang and Marina Bay Sands in the distance. Smoke & Mirrors boasts an array of carefully concocted cocktails including the Old & New Sling, a reworked version of the original using rye whisky and cassis liqueur in the place of gin and paired with the original ingredients of orange and pineapple juice.
This arty dive bar is about as similar to Smoke & Mirrors as the day is to night, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a mean Singapore Sling. Flagship has the Wondrich Singapore Sling, made by mixologist David Wondrich. The drink plays on its tropical heritage by adding pineapple syrup to the traditional ingredients.
Hipster coffeehouse by day, after 6 p.m., head up to the second floor to find The Spiffy Dapper, which boasts an impressive bottle collection, including over 150 types of gin, and features an atmosphere that is surprisingly casual and unpretentious. Bartender Abhishek Cherian George shakes up a stiff cocktail with the Straits Sling. The cocktail loses the sweetness of the original drink; instead, the mix of Fernet Branca, Becherovka, DOM and absinthe serve up a spicy bite with each sip.
Post Bar at the Fullerton Hotel is an elegant affair. Built in 1928, it was originally the main transaction hall of Singapore’s General Post Office. On the menu at Post Bar is The Fullerton Sling Collection, offering several interpretations on the classic cocktail. There are eight variations in all, including the Gold Sling, which adds Goldschlager and cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes to the traditional recipe.
Another bar tucked away in Singapore’s popular bar district, Bitters & Love offers the option of custom-made or off-the-menu cocktails. From the menu, try out their version of the Sling, the Singapura Love, for something adorable and fruity. The bartenders here amp up the fruity flavour with a geranium gin, and the cocktail is served in a vintage traditional cup.
As previously mentioned, the Long Bar is closed until mid-2018; however, the Raffles Hotel will still be serving the classic Singapore Sling from the Bar & Billiard Room until the end of this year when it too will be closed for renovations. The Bar & Billiard Room comes with its own history as one of the oldest bars in Singapore; you can find it on the ground floor of one of the hotel’s original buildings from 1896.