We’ve all heard of them, yet some of the most famous of all cocktails are also the simplest: Harry’s Bar in Venice is legendary for its Bellini, a three to one blend of white peach purée with the Italian sparkling wine Prosecco. Bermuda’s national drink, Dark ’n Stormy, is simply ginger beer topped with Gosling’s Black Seal rum. Puerto Rico’s Piña Colada is a tropical punch of cream of coconut, pineapple and rum. And, what would a Kentucky Derby be without sipping on a Mint Julep? About 80,000 of these bourbon and crushed mint drinks are served at the racetrack during the derby. Off to the races, we say. When jaunting about the world, it helps to know your cocktails and their countries. In some hot spots specific recipes have been declared official national drinks defended and promoted by their nations. If they are not the national drink as in the case of the Pimms Cup (see below) they are at least the declared beverage for an event the whole country watches or a cocktail so world renowned that where it originated becomes a tourist mecca (the Singapore Sling).
Cocktail: Singapore Sling
Origin story: Invented by Raffles Hotel bar captain Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915 while working at the hotel’s Long Bar. Basically gin, cherry brandy and fruit juice, the drink went on to gain worldwide fame. This year (2015) Singapore marks the 50th anniversary of its founding and the Raffles Singapore celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Singapore Sling with the Singapore Sling 100th Anniversary Suite Package (from S$1,380) and other Sling experiences.
The Singapore Sling
The original recipe was lost decades ago thus the drink that they currently serve at the hotel’s Long Bar is based on memories of former bartenders, and some written notes that were discovered. Here’s one version believed to be close to the original.
1 1⁄2 oz gin
1⁄2 oz Cherry Heering
1⁄4 oz Cointreau liqueur
1⁄4 oz Benedictine
4 oz pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1⁄2 oz lime juice
1⁄3 oz grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled Collins glass.
Garnish with cherry and slice of pineapple.
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