Lee Hsien Loong

Singapore always surprises

Singapore always surprises

Yes, it's a tourist trap. Yes, I had to queue up in a long, steamy line to reach the bar.  And yes, I paid $50 for a couple of drinks.

But I'm a traditionalist. And skipping a Singapore Sling here would be akin to snubbing scotch in Scotland, Cognac in France or vodka in Russia.

So I waited my turn, took a seat in the storied Long Bar at Raffles Hotel and ordered the pretty pink drink that bartender Ngiam Tong Boon concoted 101 years ago. As the tale is told, the Raffles' mixologist created the fruit-juicy cocktail for ladies, mixing gin with pineapple and lime juices, grenadine, Benedictine, cherry brandy and Cointreau.

It still looks — and tastes...

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