General, Singapore Sling

History of Singapore Sling

A Romanticized Version...

Step back in time… to colonial Singapore in the early 1900s, a bustling entrepôt bustling with activity: where officers serve their Queen with aspirations for greater things, and where merchants and many others come to seek their fortunes, giving rise to a rich tapestry of languages, cultures and relationships.

Raffles Place 1940s
Raffles Place 1940s. Photo from

As the young officer crossed the threshold into the cool embrace of the hotel lobby, he felt a welcome relief from the frenzied bustle and the sweltering heat of the tropical afternoon outside. His mind was preoccupied with the duties of the day as he made his way to the bar, and that was when he saw her.

Seated alone in the farthest corner of the room, a young woman sat, a vision of unparalleled beauty that left the young officer awestruck. She exuded an aura of quiet confidence, her lips adorned with a subtle shade of crimson and her eyes sparkling with amusement as she observed her surroundings. Despite the lively chatter enveloping her, she appeared content in her solitude.

“Ngiam!” the officer whispered urgently to the bartender. 

“Hmm?” said Ngiam Tong Boon the bartender, glancing up at the familiar voice.

“Who is that dazzling beauty sitting over there?”

“Ah, that’s Lady Chin, sir. The youngest daughter of a local silk merchant. Would you like me to send over a scotch, sir?”

The officer sat down and shook his head. “Goodness no, old chap. A scotch is simply not classy enough for a woman of her bearing!”

He thought for a while.

“Please make something for her!” he pleaded with his friend. “A cocktail. Something alluring. Something red. Something which will match her totally!”

Ngiam was someone who was up for any challenge, especially creating a cocktail in aid of his old chap’s future happiness.

And so, the Singapore Sling® was created.

Ngiam’s sparkling scarlet concoction reflected its exotic roots: enticing fruity notes of pineapple juice intermingled with Grenadine Syrup, Cherry Brandy, Angostura Bitters, D.O.M. Bénédictine and Cointreau, giving rise to a sweet yet strong, subtle yet seductive cocktail drink.

As for the officer and his lady, like any classic tale, their story ended happily ever after with a joyous wedding.

The Perfection Of The Singapore Sling®

Eighty years later, the Orient’s most famous cocktail would undergo a revival.

Inconsistencies began to surface in the taste, texture, quality and presentation of the cocktail. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and love of a good challenge, a Singaporean named Mr H.S. Chow embarked on a tireless quest to perfect the Singapore Sling®. With unwavering dedication to the drink’s nuanced flavours, he sought to refine and perfect the drink’s signature taste and sophisticated finish, ensuring a consistent and authentic flavour profile. After two decades of tireless experimenting, he finally perfected the Singapore Sling® in 1985.

Today, the Singapore Sling® ranks among the world’s top 10 cocktails, featuring prominently in Hollywood blockbusters such as Cocktail and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The True Heritage Brew Singapore Sling® graces the menus of numerous airlines including Singapore Airlines, luxury hotels and many prestigious Food & Beverage establishments.

With a heritage spanning over a century, the True Heritage Brew Singapore Sling® has transitioned from an innovative drink to an established national brand that is making inroads into the international marketplace with True Heritage Brew leading the way.

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