When you visit Singapore, one of the flashiest tourist traps is trying a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar. Located in the Raffles Hotel, the Long Bar claims to be the home of the Singapore Sling: a drink made with (but not limited to) lime juice, dry gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple juice and various other bitters and what have you’s.
As you can tell, I am not a specialist in alcoholic beverages, but I do know the Singapore Sling is known for its sweet and sour taste profile. To make a quick version of the drink, a sweet and sour mix can be used instead of the numerous above. Overtime and with many tourists, I suspect this is what happened to the Singapore Sling at the Long Bar. When I tried the drink, it tasted more like it had been pumped from a slushy machine from a convenience store.I don’t disagree that you should visit the Long Bar or the Raffles Hotel. The Long Bar itself is extremely funky, with its dark wooden spiral staircases and straw fans on the ceiling that are constantly moving off an old school pulley system, like the toy car you had to make move in your Elementary School tech class. The most memorable part of the Long Bar was not the Singapore Sling, it was the peanuts. Each table was given peanuts and you were allowed to throw the peanut shells right on the floor. After a few rounds of peanuts, it felt like being in a hamster cage because I couldn’t see the floor.
Looking at the Raffles Hotel makes your eyes sore. The architecture is so stunning; you don’t want to blink to miss anything. The colonial-style building looks like it is related to the White House. Walking through the hotel you can’t help but notice the green gardens and bright flowers that look so good you are tempted to eat them (but don’t — you are at the Raffles Hotel for crying out loud!). Walking among history, the Raffles Hotel is one of my favourite sights in Singapore.
Back to the booze. If you want a good Singapore Sling, try Orgo Bar. They are known for their mixology and you can be sure you won’t be getting any store bought sweet and sour mixes here. I also liked the Sling at Jigger and Pony. This is what a real Singapore Sling should taste like (or at least I think so).