raffles bar in singapore outside the pop up bar

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The Raffles Hotel in Singapore, home to the Singapore Sling is currently closed for refurbishment and according to their website is due to reopen in the fall  of 2018. That’s this Autumn for us Brits.

On a recent city bus tour of Singapore the pre recorded audio guide invites you to wave at the valet guys on the front door, except the front door is a hole in the ground surrounded by construction workers.

However, the Raffles Hotel didn’t want to leave any tourist dollar on the table so has set up a pop-up bar around the corner on 3 Seah Street. 

Why is this hotel so famous Pedro?

It’s a hotel synonymous with the Singapore Sling cocktail, because this is the place where it was created.

Of course, we all know it from the Last Barman Poet in the movie Cocktail where Tom Cruise get’s up and does an impromptu poem.

“The Singapore Sling, the Ding-a Ling”.

And then you hear some crazy lady scream, “DING-A-LING”.

I mean you’d never go to that place to get hammered right? Takes ten minutes to make one cocktail and the barman is busy doing everything but serving people.

I digress. Come on Pedro stick to the script.

Singapore Sling cocktails

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How did it all begin?

Ok so the dinosaurs were roaming the earth for approximately 66 million years.

I’m joking.

In 1915 a bartender by the name of Ngiam Tong Boon created what was to coined, The Singapore Sling.

Following the turn of the century in colonial Singapore, Raffles Singapore was the nerve centre of the community where dudes/gentlemen like to get on it/drink responsibly. Gin, whisky, that kind of thing.

my girlfriend drinking singapore slings

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Did the women not drink?

Nope. Not allowed back then, not in public at least. It was a time when men backhanded women for putting too much mayo in their sandwiches and women accepted that cricket just wasn’t for them.

However, Ngiam saw this as a marketing ploy and decided to create a cocktail that looked like a fruit juice.

Masking it as pink gave it a feminine flair and together with the clever use of clear alcohol, he cleverly led people into thinking it was socially acceptable punch for the ladies.

Can you still crush peanuts in the Raffles Pop-up?

Yes you can and it’s encouraged. It pays tribute to the British planters who used to patronise Long Bar.

(Long bar being the Long Bar counter that covered the breadth of the ballroom inside Raffles Hotel during the 60’s. It’s since been moved to level 2, Raffles Hotel arcade, currently shut to the public for restoration).

These planters enjoyed peanuts while drinking in their plantations in Malaya and they would throw the shells on the ground.

Don’t try this down the Three Tuns in Huntingdon mind. Crawford the Landlord goes mental when you do that.

singapore sling in Raffles Hotel pop up

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But wait Pedro, you said you’re not drinking?

What are you my mother! Like Buscemi said in Armageddon, ‘I just want to have some fun before I die’.

But you’re right to flag it up. In fact I didn’t have a Singapore Sling, in Singapore, in the Raffles Hotel where the damn thing was invented because I don’t drink alcohol. Jesus Christ.

I had a Singapore Virgin which is basically the most expensive fruit juice on the face of the planet.

$14 for a Virgin Sling, $31 for a Singapore Original.

I should also add that if you want to keep up to date with the Raffles Hotel restoration then you can do so on their website. 

There is a gift shop where you can buy Raffles tea. Oh and if you want to make a Singapore Sling at home the ingredients at the bottom.

But before you go

You’ve noticed I’ve linked to all my social media accounts in the pictures jargen?

Make sure you’re following me on all of them because I post different content on each.

Raffles Hotel under construction

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Singapore Sling Recipe

  • 30ml Gin
  • 15ml Cherry Liqueur
  • 120ml Pineapple Juice
  • 15ml Lime Juice
  • 7.5ml Cointreau
  • 7.5 Dom Benedictine
  • 10ml Grenadine
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Pineapple Slice & Cherry Garnish



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