At the fag end of the 20th century, Putin was coming into power in Russia, Bill Clinton was being impeached, George W. Bush was becoming the President of America, and the world at large was hoping for a miracle. In the sunny shores of swashbuckling Singapore, in the early 1900s, bartender extraordinaire Ngiam Tong Boon was stirring up a storm in a glass. Boon’s improvisation of the classic gin sling gave birth to the sassy Singapore Sling, a cocktail so on fleek that it could send the best of best in a heady trip down the clamouring, gaudy lanes of Singapore.
Since then, a thousand (okay, that’s an exaggeration) variations of the Singapore Sling have come and gone, each leaving its impression behind. Taking inspiration from the 20th century stunner, here’s yet another version of the drink, with a Scottish twist.
Mix your own Singapore Sling…
You’d need a handful of ingredients before you start off. You need gin, cherry-brandy, grenadine, Benedictine, Cointreau, angostura bitters and our secret addition, Barrelhound Blended Scotch Whisky. The barrelhound’s spicy sweetness blends like magic with the sweet, tangy cocktail imparting it a richer body and adding stronger kick.
Now, take a Collins glass, pack it with ice and chill it in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, combine the liquors and aperitifs in the following order and quantities. 1 ½ ounces gin, 4 ounces of pineapple juice, ½ ounce of cherry brandy, ½ of freshly squeezed lime juice, ¼ ounce of Benedictine, ¼ ounce Cointreau, ¼ ounce of grenadine, a few dashes of Angostura bitters, and lastly, the star of the show, ½ ounce of Barrelhound Blended Scotch Whisky. Now shake it well until the orange-hued red of the cocktail resembles the sky at sunset.
Strain the cocktail into the chilled Collins glass over a fresh stack of ice. Garnish with a twist of an orange peel, a few maraschino cherries and the Singapore Sling with a Twist is ready to rock the party.
The tale of Old Pal is laced with mysteries and contradictions, much like the celebrities of the era that its creator played host to. Between the two great wars when America was dying of thirst, Prohibition was driving the likes of Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway back into the arms of Paris where people could still get a drink and talk about great things.
They say “Beer after whiskey is risk,” so better drink ‘em together, right? But that’s not what birthed the Boilermaker, a cocktail which isn’t a cocktail. It seems odious to even put this down as a cocktail recipe –for what can be the list of ingredients, or mixing instructions for a drink which constitutes a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer?
You wake up in the morning to strains of the classic “American Pie” by Don McLean playing somewhere and you instantly start singing along. Next thing you know, it already feels like summer and you want to fix a drink. But you don’t want it to be too heavy, just something refreshing to complement your breakfast-- almost like a glass of fresh fruit juice.