Slings, Sand and Bloody Good Cherry Hooch on theImbiber.net

By Dan Dunn

Over the years the Singapore Sling has had its praises sung by the likes of Tom Waits, Jimmy Buffett, The Replacements and Hunter S. Thompson, and is well deserving of its place in the pantheon of great cocktails. But for my money the coolest thing about this venerable libation (besides the fact that it was invented at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, which is featured as a Japanese stronghold in one of my favorite videogames, “Medal of Honor: Rising Sun”) is that it’s one of two cherry-flavored cocktails a grown man can order in a bar and still seem like a bad-ass…the other being a Blood & Sand.

From the beginning, the Singapore Sling recipe called for Cherry Heering, an iconic cordial that has been produced in Denmark since 1818 and has once again become fashionable in the U.S. Why? Well, marketing dollars certainly have something to do with Cherry Heering’s resurgence, as does the classic cocktail craze and the support of many of the top mixologists at high-end drinkeries from San Francisco to Soho.

Cherry Heering is made with fresh cherries that are gently pressed, blended with spices, and stored in oak barrels. Due in part to the influence of the wood, it’s sweet but not sickly sweet like Apple Pucker and some of those other nauseating fruit-flavored abominations created in chemical labs in places like Newark. There isn’t a single artificial flavor in Heering, and the ruby red color that makes it look so inviting in a glass is all natural, too. And while it’s popularly known for being a key ingredient in a Sling, Heering also works well over ice in a rocks glass, topped with Coke and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Aristocratic types who could care less about a drink order that impugns their manlihood will surely delight in a Heering Royale, which is one part cherry liqueur, five parts champagne, in a flute with a cherry garnish.

Singapore Sling
This is the original recipe created at the Raffles Hotel, home of the Singapore Sling in Singapore.

  • 1 part Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • 2 parts premium gin
  • 6 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 parts lime juice
  • 1/2 part Cointreau
  • 1/2 part Dom Benedictine
  • 1/2 part Grenadine
  • A dash of Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice into a sling glass. Garnish with fresh pineapple and cherry.

Blood & Sand

  • 2 parts premium Scotch
  • 1 part Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 part orange juice

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled 7 oz cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange disk flamed over the top, then dropped into the cocktail

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