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Singapore Sling

gin, Cherry Heering, Bènèdictine, lime juice, carbonated water and Angostura bitters

The Singapore Sling is a curious case how the American’s sling evolved through England and the British colonies, first to resemble a cooler or collins, then, by 1910, in Singapore, acquiring liqueurs, a name, and global popularity.

Rather than being “invented”, it appears the Singapore Sling, or Straits Sling, began with the Gin Sling in America, which by the 1880s had traveled to England and its colonies, where it was still called a “gin sling”, but now tweaked with citrus juice and liqueurs. At the end of the 19th Century, a fashion developed in Singapore for adding cherry liqueur to the gin sling, resulting in a new pink drink. Benedictine was also a popular addition. In the early 20th Century, this Singapore-style gin sling—now less a sling than a cooler—traveled back the way it came, becoming a popular drink world-wide for decades. For the full reconstruction, please see the Oxford Companion. A canonical recipe:

Singapore Sling / Straits Sling

Build in a tall glass filled with ice:

  • 1 1/2 oz dry gin
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
  • 1/2 oz Benedictine

Fill with sparkling water.


Top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, p. 645–6; barware icons courtesy of Haus Alpenz