If you’ve ever been to Singapore, I’ll bet my life savings you’ve been to Raffles Hotel and had a Singapore Sling.
I’ve been to Singapore quite a view times, and I’ve been to Raffles twice. Once, because it was my first time, and second because the woman of the time wanted to go there.
Now, before I go on… for some reason, I don’t have many photos of my visits to the hotel as I took the most the first visit, and for some reason, I’ve lost a load of pictures from that time.
Basically, Raffles is a really nice hotel set in wonderful grounds. I don’t know what it’s like to stay there as it’s out of my budget and my brother lives in Singapore so I get free accommodation when I’m there!
But to visit it is nice. It’s been around since Singapore existed, way back in 1887 and you get that colonial type vibe as you walk around the grounds. It is impeccably kept for such an old building.
It is most famous for it’s Singapore Sling cocktails, and apart from having a gander at the hotel, this is what I went for. WHo doesn’t love a cocktail, and who doesn’t want to drink a Singapore Sling is the home of the Singapore Sling?
Interestingly, one of the photos I do have from my first visit there back in 2012 is the Manchester United youth team who were on a tour of Asia and staying in the hotel. They pulled up as we were walking around so I grabbed the shot below of them.
Now, on to the cocktail. The Singapore Sling. I have no idea what’s in one and I’ve never tried one before arriving in Singapore. However, everyone told me you must go to Raffles and have a Singapore Sling – they’re the best in the world!
So off I trotted one evening to the Long Bar in Raffles and sat down to savour my drink.
The Long Bar is a chilled place; a nice enough bar in its own right and would be a great place to chew the fat over some beers. There’s this quirky thing with the bar in that everyone is encouraged to nibble on nuts and throw the shells on the floor. Hundreds, if not thousands of nut shells everywhere. Very bizarre.
Now, when I ordered my Singapore Sling I was expected some cocktail wizard to mix up a delight for me, wowing me with their mixology skills, maybe some fireworks and dancing on the bar to add to the occasion. For SING$35 a pop I was certainly hoping something extraordinary would happen…
Alas, it was not to be. After you place your order, about 30 seconds later your drinks arrive on your table clearly poured from a pre-made mixture, probably out of 5-litre containers and shipped in from an industrial kitchen somewhere hidden in the city.
It’s a very disappointing experience. The drink itself tastes nice enough, like a fruit juice, but with booze. But as an experience, it was a bit, well, shit.
I can see why they need to do it that way as the bar was full of like-minded souls who were all there for the famous drink. All of us handed over our $35, got a picture and can say we’ve had a Singapore Sling in The Long Bar at Raffles. Instagram ready to rock and roll.
Would I go again? Probably. It is a nice enough thing to do.
Is it worth $35 a drink? Absolutely not.