The hustle and bustle of modern Singapore has not changed much since its colonial days. The skyline may have had a radical transformation because of its skyscrapers, but the grandness of their architecture and the vibrancy of the city continue to be as exciting now as it was then, when it was a melting pot of traders, officers and others working and living alongside each other.
Singapore’s Sling is a room fragrance created to commemorate Singapore’s most famous cocktail that dates back to the early 1900s.
The story behind the Singapore Sling
The theories behind its creation vary, but the pastel-colored cocktail was created by the barman of the famous Long Bar, Ngiam Tong Boon, in 1915 and went on to join the ranks as one of the world’s top ten cocktails.
One of the stories behind the cocktail is that an officer was enthralled at the sight of the beautiful woman and asked Ngiam to create her a drink that would resemble the color of her lips. Another theory is that in those days it was socially unacceptable for women to be seen drinking alcohol in public and Ngiam created the cocktail so that looked like a fruit juice. The gin-based cocktail also contained and is still made with curaçao, Bénédictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and its pink color comes from the addition of grenadine and cherry liqueur.
The historic Singapore Sling
The Raffles Hotel was built on a plot of land that was at the waterfront of Singapore in 1887. It was named after the British Commander who is credited with founding modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.
At the time the visitors were the wealthy plantation owners who would come from the surrounding areas for a weekend break. The improved modes of transport at the time made it easy even for the plantation owners from Malaya to have often a weekend away. Even today it retains its colonial-era style and has remained a sought after place to stay. Famous writers that chose it for their stay in Singapore include Rudyard Kipling (who even mentions it in his book From Sea to Sea), Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock. The Long Bar has continued to be the favorite watering hole for visitors and residents of Singapore.
Today, the only place in Singapore where anyone is allowed to litter is in the modern Long bar. In keeping with the old traditions, everyone is still served peanuts in their shells with their drinks. Guests are encouraged to throw the shells on the floor or leave them on the counter, just as they did back then when it was known as the “Rendezvous of Planters”.
Singapore’s Sling has been created with all the fine ingredients that inspired the classic recipe of the cocktail. Its hint of pineapple, lime, cherry, bitters, and sugar are mixed with the heady scents of the orchid oils of Singapore. Every visitor to Singapore can now take the room fragrance of Singapore’s Sling back home with them as a souvenir or as a corporate gift.