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Taking a Shot of Faith: The Making of the Raffles 1915 Gin

Credit: Tatler Philippines / Raffles Hotel and Resorts (FB)

Calling all alcohol enthusiasts! Many know of Singapore’s most iconic cocktail to be the Singapore Sling but the title of Singapore’s coolest gin definitely goes to the Raffles 1915 Gin.

It’s a gin with a robust concoction of flavours enough to make die-hard gin cronies everywhere swoon- but few know how it actually came to be. So take a shot of faith and read on!


What is the Raffles 1915 Gin?

The Raffles 1915 Gin was created by Sipsmith, a London-based distillery whose claim to fame was their special extra-dry gins and one-of-a-kind flavours like chocolate and beeswax.

Image: The Sipsmith Distillery in London with co-founders Jared Brown (Left), Sam Galsworthy (Middle) and Fairfax Hall (Right)
Credit: Sipsmith

The company was co-founded by Sam Galsworthy, who is actually a direct descendant of Singapore’s founding father: Sir Stamford Raffles himself. So I guess you can see why the gin is named as such!

Image: The Raffles 1915 Gin
Credit: Tatler Philippines


Getting to Singapore 

The Raffles 1915 Gin was created exclusively by Sipsmith as part of a collaboration between The Raffles Hotel Singapore and the Sipsmith Distillery. Meant to commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence and the 100th anniversary of the beloved Singapore Sling cocktail, Sipsmith was tasked to create a custom gin just for the hotel.

With the main ingredient of the Singapore Sling being gin, I guess you could say the launch was extremely apt.

Image: Sam Galsworthy holding the Raffles 1915 Gin at Changi Airport during his trip to Singapore
Credit: Spirited Singapore

To honour his predecessor, Sam came up with the idea for Sipsmith to create a gin profile inspired by the Asian flavours, smells and sights that Raffles had been so passionate about back in the day. The gin was crafted by Sipsmith’s finest Master Distiller Jared Brown, and was launched at the Raffles Hotel in November of 2015.


Flavour Profile

Born out of the the aromas of Malaysian botanicals, the Raffles 1915 is distilled with ingredients like juniper, coriander seeds, pomelo, jasmine flower, maize and even the oriental pink peppercorn.

Image: A Gin Sling made with the Raffles 1915 Gin
Credit: Distiller Blog

The result is an utterly ‘shiok’ gin with a delicately spicy flavour containing hints of piney juniper, sweet lime zest and an all rounded-nuttiness. The aftertaste has traces of black pepper and zesty lime and leaves a lingering sweetness in your mouth.

It’s a gin best served stirred down with a Negroni or mixed with a Mediterranean tonic and garnished with an orange wheel. An overall sweet, spicy and fragrant number, it’s a must-try for Singapore’s gin enthusiasts looking to relive their very first Singapore Sling experience.


Happening at the Distillery

For those of us in Singapore who are new to gin or want to experiment with different gin flavours, Sipsmith also offers hand-crafted, tried and tested recipes here.

Image: Sipsmith’s Chilli and Lime Winter Spritz made with the Chilli & Lime Gin
Credit: Sipsmith

With a smorgasbord of recipes, even the seasoned gin-lover will be delighted. Definitely try your hand at the Classic Gin & Tonic for something more familiar or the Chilli and Lime Winter Spritz for those who claim they can ‘jiak spicy’ at any time.

Sipsmith fans can purchase Sipsmith’s classic gins here to try their hand at the gin recipes or as a gift to a special loved one for the upcoming Valentine’s Day! Visit Sipsmith’s Instagram page for gin wrapping and card writing ideas to give your gifts a smith-tastic twist.

But for travellers seeking to try the famed Raffles 1915 Gin, I’m afraid you can only get it at the Raffles Hotel Long Bar!


Taking a Shot of Culture, Literally

So if gin is your poison of choice, head down to the Raffles Hotel Long Bar and request for your Singapore Sling to be made with the Raffles 1915 Gin. For that extra shot of culture, also request for a side of peanuts and remember to throw those empty shells on the floor!


Check out our other cultural (booze-free) articles before you go: