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TripTips – Sling-pressions
By James Durston, TripTipping editor-in-chief
I had my first and only Singapore Sling roughly 13 years ago at Raffles. I arrived, in June, sweat itching its way down my face and neck, and made my way immediately to the air-conditioned comfort of Raffles bar. You can always spot the tourists in these types of places. In the Louvre they head straight for the Mona Lisa. In New Delhi they head straight for the bathroom. In Singapore, they head straight for Raffles bar. For a shoestring backpacker it was a flagrant extravagance. My hotel, the most expensive of the six-month trip, cost US$24 a night. I coughed up nearly the same for a single Sling, so fulsome were the Lonely Planet and co-traveler reviews. And I immediately wished I hadn’t. Bitter, bitty and very less-ish, it’s perhaps one of the most over-hyped cocktails on the planet. Save yourself the change.
The iconic Raffles Singapore hotel celebrates two milestones this year – 100 years of its signature Singapore Sling cocktail and the 50th anniversary of the country’s founding. It’s offering commemorative merchandise and food, discounts and experiences in honor of the occasions.
Fans of the Singapore Sling can participate in Singapore Sling Masterclasses taught by the hotel’s bartenders or enjoy the cocktail-inspired SlingaPore cake, pink in color with zesty and honey flavors.
Ah Teng’s Bakery is offering cakes to take home or get a taste of in Raffles Grill restaurant’s special 1950s Elizabethan Grill Degustation Dinner (S$250++) menu.
Throughout August, guests born in 1965 (Singapore’s 50th anniversary) can receive 25% off their bill for up to 10 people when they dine at Raffles Courtyard, Raffles Grill (excluding business set lunch), Long Bar Steakhouse and Tiffin Room (excluding afternoon tea).
Plus, you can find out which famous guests have stayed at the hotel and the filming locations of movies such as Pretty Polly and Hawaii Five-0 through 45-minute tours (S$20 per person) by volunteer guides from the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Division. The tours are available from June 1 to August 28.
During the same period, a 25-square-meter floral rendition of the Singapore flag will stand at the hotel driveway to commemorate the founding of the country.