A great cocktail has the potential to boost an entire category of spirits, like the Margarita did for Tequila or the Pisco Sour did for Pisco. They also have the power to elevate a single brand into the indelible lexicon of drinks, like the Dark and Stormy did for Gosling’s Dark Rum or the Bacardi Cocktail did for Bacardi. For Cherry Heering, the drink which solidified their place in the drinking pantheon was the Singapore Sling. Created at the turn of the century at the Long Bar in the Raffle’s Hotel in Singapore by Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon, the Singapore Sling brought together gin, pineapple juice, Cointreau, Benedictine, Grenadine, Angostura Bitters and Cherry Heering Liqueur into a complex but approachable cocktail. Not only was the drink a smash hit, it brought Cherry Heering into countless bars around the world.
Cherry Heering had already been sold for almost a century before the Singapore Sling. Often considered one of the original cherry brandy liqueurs, Cherry Heering launched in Denmark in 1818. Over its hundred year history prior to the Sling, Cherry Heering won a bevy of royal stamps and medals including the seal of both H.M. Queen Elisabeth II of the United Kingdom and H.M. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
With the craft cocktail revival over the past few years, Cherry Heering and the Singapore Sling (along with the Blood and Sand) have seen a revival. Recently, Cherry Heering held a contest among both American and German bartenders to find a modern interpretation of the classic cocktail. Philip Thompson from the Coterie in Seattle, WA managed to come out on top with his Sling & Fizzle.
The Sling & Fizzle
by Philip Thompson
1 oz gin
1 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Combier Orange
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Grenadine (NOT Roses – a good quality, rich Grenadine is required here)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. After sufficiently cold, add 1 1/2 oz cold soda water, and pour everything through a double strainer into a chilled Collins glass.
1 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz egg white
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a ISI container and charge with 2 CO2 charges. Set aside in ice.
Take the chilled ISI container and gently top cocktail with foam. Garnish with a couple drops of Angostura Bitters swirled into a pretty design. DO NOT SERVE WITH A STRAW!
By migrating the pineapple juice to the foam, and adding lemon juice and soda water, Philip transformed the Sling into a much lighter and more refreshing drink. Adding the foam enhances the aromatics and brings the bright cherry notes from the Heering into the mix.
Will the Sling & Fizzle become a modern classic? Who knows, but it serves as a fantastic reminder of the way that cocktails can impact spirits, and how a drink that’s existed for almost a hundred years can be as relevant as when it was first served.
Watch the competition video and see how Philip Thompson won: