Everyone says that when in Singapore you must visit Raffles and try a Singapore Sling at their Long Bar. After Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, Singapore, by way of comparison, is very, very expensive so why blow your travelling budget on a gin?
Firstly, Raffles is a colonial-style luxury hotel named after a Brit, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. I’m not really a spirit drinker and I couldn’t recall the last time I had a gin so I was the reluctant visitor to the Long Bar (my travelling companion insisted) but I went with it on the basis of having an ‘experience’. The 30 minute queue to get into the place didn’t help my enthusiasm and neither did the 20 minute wait for our drinks.
Having time on our hands gave me the opportunity to take in the stately grandeur of this magnificent building kept in the vogue of the eighteenth and nineteenth century time line. I’m sure that during colonial rule the gentlemen of the time would have enjoyed their cigars together with a gin or whisky after a game of snooker in the billiard room.
Two drinks eventually arrived together with a complimentary bag of unshelled nuts by way of an apology for delivering a very expensive fruit juice spiked with gin.
Was it worth it? Well, at $33 (£20) plus tax (yes, that’s one drink) I think I prefer a Beefeater with Schweppes tonic water and a slice of lemon. I don’t think the queuing, waiting and experience was worth it but at least I can say I’ve been there, done that and spent twenty quid on a gin.
By the way, here’s the original Singapore Sling:
30 ml gin
15 ml cherry brandy
120 ml pineapple juice
15 ml lime juice
7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
7.5 ml Cointreau
10 ml grenadine
A dash of Angostura bitters
Garnish with a slice of pineapple and cherry
My visit to Singapore was in 2017 as the last leg of a 5 week back packing tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ve recently discovered gin which I find rather refreshing drinking it on my roof terrace as the sun goes down behind the hill. The discovery also reminded to write about Raffles. By the way, my gin drinking travelling partner actually ordered two alternative gin cocktails because they were a few dollars cheaper than a Singapore Sling!