THE MASTER DISTILLERS AT SIPSMITH CONCOCT A LONDON DRY GIN WORTHY OF THE SINGAPORE SLING LEGACY.
Envision a journey to 1915, when the speed of modern transportation had yet to shorten the distance from destination to destination and only a handful of locations were more exotic than the Lion City. It was at this time when the head bartender at Raffles’ Long Bar, Ngiam Tong Boon, proved his genius behind the bar and whipped up the first Singapore Sling, a rosy-colored gin-based cocktail widely regarded as the national drink of the island nation.
To commemorate the drink’s hundredth year, Raffles teamed up with Sipsmith, the pioneers of craft London gin, to create a gin which both Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Ngiam Tong Boon would be proud of. It took months to find the ideal botanical balance of distilled jasmine flowers, fresh pomelo peel, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaf, nutmeg, and cardamom along with the awardwinning gin, but not a minute was spent in vain. This stunningly smooth and full-bodied London Dry gin with the warmth of sweet orange spice which then evolves into an elegant, bright, balanced finish lives up to its name: Raffles 1915 Gin.
Sipsmith master distiller Jared Brown muses that distillers are always in search of something new. “We were greatly inspired by the history of the Long Bar—the exquisite and intriguing sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that greeted and revived the thousands of weary travelers who entered its doors and sustained those who chose to become part of this island nation. The extraordinary choice of spices available in the Malay basin provides a botanical backbone that captures what it might have been like to sip the first Sling during that golden age of travel.”
This collaboration further cements the relationship between Raffles and Sipsmith, which is already rooted in tradition and lineage, as Sipsmith co-founder Sam Galsworthy is a descendant of Sir Stamford Raffles, for whom the Raffles institute was named after.
In a span of a hundred years, the Singapore Sling has been immortalized and its concoction often altered. But what will secure its place as an iconic cocktail for another hundred years is the underlying Malaysian botanicals setting the ground for future generations to revisit the gin-based drink. One whiff of the delicate forest notes rounded by sweet pine from juniper berries, Indian mint, spiced apple, bitter citrus, and sweet nectarine from a bottle of Raffles 1915 Gin will captivate you enough to make your own delicious version of the Singapore Sling. Long Bar, Raffles Makati; 555.9888.
tuRN oF tHE cENtuRy clockwise from top: A bottle of Raffles 1915 gin; Sipsmith gin on tap; botanicals used to make the gin; the Singapore Sling.