Friday, January 18, 2013

Singapore Slings, Gold Flakes and Peanuts at the Long Bar

The legendary Long Bar of Raffles Hotel, birthplace of the iconic Singapore Sling, is now in Manila. And when at the Long Bar, there's absolutely nothing better than a couple of Singapore Slings, real 24K gold and some peanuts. 

The classic Singapore Sling was concocted way back in the early 1900s, and credit goes to Raffles Hotel's Long Bar bartender, Ngiam Tong Boon.  The legendary cocktail includes fresh pineapple juice giving it a distinct tropical flavor. You can have a Singapore Sling anywhere in the world, but nothing beats having a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar. History, tradition and nostalgia simply gives the Long Bar's original Singapore Sling a cool edge. Seriously.

Once you enter the Long Bar, you immediately feel the old world charm of Singapore's colonial past, with elegant tiled floors and even the straw fans on the ceiling complete the feeling of stepping back in time. Raffles Makati, along with Fairmont Makati, are the newest hotel developments in the metro, and the only location to house the legendary Long Bar outside of Singapore. 

Traditional dark tones interplay with modern and contemporary touches, yet the overall nostalgic mood is comfortingly maintained.  And as you sit by the bar, the Singapore Sling is definitely a no brainer to complete the experience. You simply can't skip the Sling.

The classic Singapore Sling is a refreshing blend of Tanqueray Gin (yup, no other gin will do for a real Singapore Sling), Cherry Heering (a dark red cherry liqueur), Cointreau, fresh lemon and pineapple with a dash of Angostura Bitters and topped with Benedictine (see more of long bar's cool cocktails and Happy Hour specials at

Guided by the Long Bar's proprietary recipe, you can now experience the original Singapore Sling right here in Makati. And the Long Bar's bartenders have it down to a tee, a true Singapore Sling. And nothing beats having a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar.

One sip, and you just know this is probably the closest you'll ever be to Singapore while in Makati. If you enjoy an Old Fashioned, try the Long Bar's Panutsa Old Fashioned, my personal favorite, a cool blend of Jim Beam Bourbon and "panutsa" (palm sugar) with orange zest. Nice.

The Long Bar has always been known for its unique cocktails, and this innovative playfulness is carried over in its new Makati location with a refreshingly new and unexpected yet pleasantly surprising concoction. An inventive twist, Raffles Makati created its very own take on the classic Sling, the Makati Luxury Sling... 

This unique cocktail is a cool blend of Tanqueray Ten, Grand Marnier, Benedictine, fresh Lemon and Pineapple juices topped with Angostura foam. While the addition of Grand Marnier is new, the use of Tanqueray Gin, Benedictine, Lemon and Pineapple with Angostura in a cool foam is an homage to its roots with the Singapore Sling. But the real twist is the addition of Cherry Blossom essence and, get this, 24K gold flakes. Real gold flakes. Cool? Absolutely. 

And here's the cool part. Bowls of peanuts are served at the Long Bar, and the real fun begins when you start cracking the peanuts and throwing all the shells at the Long Bar's elegant tiled floor, a tradition at the original Long Bar in Singapore. And there's an interesting story behind this tradition. According to Loni Balagtas, Marketing Communications Manager for Raffles, the simple act of throwing shells at the floor was a subtle protest against the state's strict and controlled disciplinary social code. And to this day, the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel remains the only place in Singapore where littering can be, well, fun. And after a couple of Singapore Slings, throwing peanut shells at the floor with reckless abandon can be really fun, and Loni Balagtas described it best, it can be quite "liberating." 

Nothing like sipping real gold flakes and throwing shells at the floor. Definitely nothing like it. Only at the Long Bar. Very cool. 

And that's the real magic of Raffles' legendary Long Bar. Steeped in history and tradition, yet playfully poking at convention, which makes it a real cool place. Now that's my kind of place. Looking for the real Singapore Sling? No need to go far, it's right in the heart of Makati.

Special thanks to Raffles Makati's Joern Schwaiger, Director of Food and Beverage; Monique Toda, Director of Communications; and Loni Balagtas, Marketing Communications Manager for an awesome evening. Stay tuned for more posts on the new Raffles Makati and Fairmont Makati...

Raffles Makati's Long Bar at the Lobby Level is open daily from 12:00pm to 2:00am, with entertainment Monday to Thursday, 8:00pm to  11:00 pm and Friday to Saurday, 7;00pm to 1:00am. Raffles Makati is located at 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati City, or call 555-9750 for inquiries. Check out the Facebook Pages at and for more details.

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