You’ve seen the hoardings and heard about the disruptions, but as one of Singapore’s historic sites, it was definitely due for restoration works. Raffles Hotel went into the final phase of their restoration program on Dec 13, which means that everything, including our beloved Long Bar, Raffles Grill, Tiffin Room, and Bar & Billiard Room, have closed for renovations. However, if you’re craving for an OG Singapore Sling, they’ve opened up a pop-up Long Bar over at 3 Seah Street right next to the Raffles Gift Shop, which will remain open throughout the restoration.
For a while, before it went into full restoration mode, you could still get the famed Singapore Sling over at the Bar & Billiard Room. But now that that’s all gone, at least for the time being, this pop-up bar will have to do. It’s only three minutes away from the original site, so it’s not really that hard to find. This quaint little 15-seater—much smaller than the original—features wooden flooring that mimics the earthy décor of the pop-up, which were inspired by Malayan plantation life of the ’20s.
The Singapore Sling, a cocktail that’s widely regarded as Singapore’s national drink, was conceived in 1915 at Raffles by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Back then, it was the go-to watering hole for the community, with gentlemen often seen with glasses of gin or whisky in hand. However, it was apparently not etiquette for ladies to be seen consuming alcohol in public, which was why fruit juices and tea were the beverage of choice for them. Ngiam then saw a gap in the market and decided to concoct a drink that could easily be masked as a fruit juice, which was how the Singapore Sling was born. This gin-based drink uses pineapple juice as its main ingredient, along with grenadine, lime juice, Dom Benedictine, cherry brandy and Cointreau.
Apart from the Singapore Sling, you can also sip on other classics like the 1915 Gin Sling and the 1915 Gin and Tonic. You’ll also be served peanuts to enjoy and yes, like Long Bar, you’re welcome to throw the shells onto the floor. Cocktails start from $28.
The Long Bar pop-up is open daily from 11am-8pm, and is located at 3 Seah Street.