A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 07, 2009
Sling (Singapore Sling)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Epicurious.com: Food Dictionary
sling
An alcoholic drink made with lemon juice, powdered sugar and a LIQUOR such as BRANDY, GIN, VODKA or WHISKEY. Slings are usually served in an old-fashioned glass, but occasionally they’re served in a tall glass and topped off with soda water as in the SINGAPORE SLING.

Epicurious.com: Food Dictionary
Singapore sling
Said to have originated at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, this COCKTAIL consists of gin, cherry brandy and lemon juice shaken with ice and strained into a tall glass. The drink is finished by topping it off with soda water.

Wikipedia: Singapore Sling
The Singapore Sling is a cocktail that was invented by Ngiam Tong Boon (嚴崇文) for the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel in Singapore sometime between 1910 and 1915; it is a kind of sling, a traditional type of cocktail. The recipes published in articles about the Raffles Hotel prior to the 1970s are significantly different from the current recipes. There were also different “Singapore Slings"--those drunk in Singapore at large, and the recipe used at the Raffles Hotel. While the recipes around the city varied significantly, the cocktail at the Raffles remained the same. The original recipe used gin, cherry brandy, and Benedictine (most often in equal parts). The drink was shaken and strained into a glass, and then filled to individual taste with club soda. The recipe used by the hotel was the result of recreating the original recipe based on the memories of former bartenders and written notes that they were able to discover.

The current Raffles Hotel recipe is a much modified version of the original, most likely changed sometime in the 1970s by Ngiam Tong Boon’s nephew.

The original recipe used at the Raffles Hotel originally included club soda to taste. The modern Singapore Sling is available on all Singapore Airlines flights, and the drink is free on all classes of travel.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: sling
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1768
: an alcoholic drink that is served hot or cold and that usually consists of liquor, sugar, lemon juice, and plain or carbonated water “gin sling“ “rum sling“

(Oxford English Dictionary)
sling, n.
[Of doubtful origin: cf. SLING n.3 2.]
An American drink composed of brandy, rum, or other spirit, and water, sweetened and flavoured. Cf. GIN-SLING.
1792 P. FRENEAU in National Gazette (Philadelphia) 28 June 280/1 Rum ne’er shall meet my lips..In shape of toddy, punch, grog, sling or dram.
1807 C. W. JANSON Stranger in Amer. 299 The first craving of an American in the morning is for ardent spirits mixed with sugar, mint, or some other hot herb, and which are called slings. 1836 MARRYAT Midsh. Easy (1863) 271 You won’t take a glass of sling this fine night with a countryman?
1853 WOLFF Pictures Sp. Life 38 Beverages..unequalled even in Paris, or in the land flowing with sling and coblers.
1871 MRS. STOWE My Wife & I ix, When the public call for hot brandy sling.

gin-sling
[f. GIN n.2 + SLING n.2]
An American cold drink composed of gin, etc. flavoured and sweetened.
1790 J. BAXTER Jrnl. 19 Feb. in Amer. Speech (1965) XL. 199 Drank a gin sling with him at fat Simmon’s.
1837, 1843 [see COCKTAIL 3a].
1839 MARRYAT Diary Amer. Ser. I. I. 105 Punch, gin slings, cocktails, mint julips. 1864 TOVEY Brit. & For. Spirits 105 The American summer drink, Gin Sling is prepared thus: Gin and water, sweetened with pounded white sugar, in which are stuck leaves of fresh gathered mint.
1938 G. GREENE Brighton Rock V. i. 192 They use their own eggs in the gin slings.
1943 N. COWARD Middle East Diary 15 Aug. (1944) 49 Sipping Gin-Slings and cocktails.

Singapore
The name of a city and island-republic (formerly, British Crown Colony) in South-East Asia, used attrib., usu. as Singapore (gin) sling, to designate a cocktail with a base of gin and cherry brandy.
1930 Savoy Cocktail Book I. 190 Singapore Sling. The Juice of Lemon.  Dry Gin.  Cherry Brandy. Shake well and strain into medium size glass, and fill with soda water. Add 1 lump of ice.
1948 D. S. EMBURY Fine Art of mixing Drinks xi. 299 Singapore Gin Sling. Of all the recipes published for this drink I have never seen any two that were alike. Essentially it is simply a Gin Sling with the addition of cherry brandy.
1960 J. J. ROWLANDS Spindrift from House by Sea i. 28 Building your own house, he told us after his third Singapore gimlet, is an experience akin to a spiritual awakening.
1969 R. THOMAS Singapore Wink xi. 118 I’m going to have a Singapore Sling in the bar of the Raffles Hotel.
1976 Times (Singapore Suppl.) 19 July p. iv/4 In 1915 a barman, Mr Ngian Tong Dron, tried mixing two measures of gin with one of cherry brandy and one of orange, pineapple and lime juice..the Singapore gin sling was born.

26 March 1788, New-Jersey Journal, pg. 2:
A young man with a cormerant appetite, voraciously devoured, last week, at Connecticut farms, thirty raw eggs, a glass of egg nog, and another of brandy sling.

Google Books
Bring ‘em back alive
By Frank Buck and Edward Anthony
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1930
Pg. 98:
My business over, Gladys would sit down with me in the bar of the Raffles Hotel while I had a gin sling.

6 April 1930, Washington (DC) Post, pg. S11:
...and mixed drinks from “flips of all kinds” through Singapore slings and St. Luke’s rickeys to “high balls of all kinds.”

Google News Archive
4 February 1940, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 20, col. 3:
That potent drink is called a “Singapore Sling,” not “Singapore Stinger.” Sissies drink them.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 07, 2009 • Permalink