The English have always had a penchant for one-of-a-kind things—suits tailored to a tee; leather boots crafted by artisans for every weather and occasion; those ridiculous fascinators the women prefer on special events that are rivaled only in ridiculousness by their men's surprisingly flashy socks. Despite being sticklers for protocol and tradition, the propensity for distinction and personal flair is also a strong pull. You see it everywhere in their culture, fashion, food, and drink.
Hence, when the iconic Raffles Hotel decided to celebrate 100 years since the inception of the Singapore Sling (the fruity, gin-based cocktail popularized by the original Raffles hotel bar in Singapore), they called upon London-based Sipsmith to create a bespoke gin which is now offered exclusively in Raffles Hotels & Resorts bars and lounges worldwide. Master distiller Jared Brown's Raffles 1915 Gin is a heady concoction of Malay flavors and aromas such as jasmine flowers, fresh pomelo peel, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaf, nutmeg, and cardamom. The bottle itself tells an interesting story with its engraved glasswork and Latin inscription which translates to: "A swan among the ducks." A fitting description for this seductive and distinctly Southeast Asian blend.
Pearl of the Orient Sling
South East Temptation
Jasmine and Smith Julep
Local mixologists have come up with their own cocktails highlighting the unique personality of the Raffles 1915 Gin, such as the whimsical bubblegum-flavored Southeast Asian Temptation; the Dragonpearl Jasmine Tea garnished with pineapple coco jam; a refreshing Smith Julep using honey black tea; a smokey and herbaceous Garden Sling; or their twist on the traditional Singapore Sling called Pearl of the Orient.
However, a true gin aficionado must first experience this bespoke gin stripped and unadorned to fully appreciate its complex aromas and inherent sweetness. It can also be a luxurious upgrade to classics such as the Gin Rickey or G&T—the perfect choice for the busy gentleman (or woman) to end a hectic day, or perhaps begin an evening of endless possibilities. Either way, it's going to be accompanied by some bloody good gin.
Long Bar is at 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati City.