Swedish bartender wins international Heering Sling cocktail competition


Amazingly, a Swedish bartender has won the global competition Heering Sling Awards 2015 as the legendary Singapore Sling celebrates its 100th anniversary this year!

‘Heering’ is of course Peter F. Heering, which since 1818 has produced the world-famous liqueur Heering Cherry.

The competition consisted this year of two parts: One part was a cocktail competition where bartenders from all over the world got to send their two best interpretations of the Singapore Sling. The second part, called ‘Here’s to the tiger’, was a charity project where bars all over the world joined to raise funds in support of the world’s tigers.


The first part was settled on 22 September, with the Swede Christoffer Johansson, as the final overall winner. He works at the newly opened restaurant Pix Pintxos & Cocktails in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Christoffer will now, together with the other four final finalists and one representative each of the four bars that donated the most money to the Tigers, travel to the legendary Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the original Singapore Sling first saw the light of day in 1915.

The Singapore Sling was the creation of bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and since then not visit to the city has ever been complete without a stop at the fabled Long Bar to enjoy this classic cocktail.

Swedish bartender Christoffer Johansson

The drink back then, as now, consisted of Cherry Heering cherry liqueur mixed with gin, orange liqueur, herbal liqueur, lime, pineapple, bitters and grenadine. Today, the drink itself is a million-dollar industry for the iconic hotel bar and it even has its own bar school to train new staff in creating this legendary drink.

Christoffer’s winning drink Chris Cross Bitter Sling is a deep but refreshing interpretation, which besides Cherry Heering cherry liqueur consists in Antica Formula vermouth, Suze gentian, grapefruit, lemon, honey and Cava served in a tall glass with ice.

The Singapore Sling has become more myth than cocktail. Despite being considered the de facto national drink of Singapore, its modern-day mix comes in so many forms.

Raffles-Hotel-Singapore-facadeIn September 2012 Raffles Hotel Singapore, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, celebrated 125 years since the hotel’s opening in 1887. The iconic cocktail creation was then celebrated along with the hotel. Long Bar then created a new champagne sling. The 1887 sling, with a base of the hotel’s limited-edition Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve champagne, offers a subtle twist on the hotel’s traditional recipe. While the recipe for this intricate cocktail will be kept a closely guarded secret, its creator, Randolf Velasco, reveals that Gordons gin, cointreau and essence of orange, lemon and lime all contribute to the libation’s one-of-a-kind flavor.

The indulgent anniversary sling, was then offered exclusively at Raffles hotels worldwide, inviting guests to share in the nation’s great classic cocktail and in the spirit of local tradition, spark a debate over its real recipe.

Raffles, now spreading its wings all over the world, have sister hotels in Paris, Dubai, Cambodia, the Seychelles, Beijing and the Holy City of Makkah.

Champagne sling – celebrating Raffles Hotel Singapore, 125th anniversary in 2012

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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