I’ll Have a “Singapore Sling” and Other Drinks from Back in the Day

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Singapore SlingKevin Sbraga, the winner of Top Chef, D.C.,  prepared a Singapore Sling re-imagined for 2010 as the dessert of his winning menu. 

I hadn’t heard the name Singapore Sling in ages.  That got me thinking of popular drinks from back in my girlish days.  (I don’t drink, so I can’t speak with personal knowledge about how these drinks tasted.  My husband, who does drink and whose father was a bartender, helped me brainstorm a list.)

The wine that tops my memory list from back in my college days was Mateus Rosé (from Portugal).  I remember it because it came in a squat, somewhat oval-shaped green glass bottle, and we used the empty bottles to hold candles to create ambience in our dorm rooms and off-campus apartments.

I also remember my classmates partaking of MD 20-20 (the MD stands for Mogen-David but, among its aficionados it was called Mad Dog -- a name that is a caution if ever I heard one), Boone’s Farm and Ripple -- all cheap-cheap wines (as opposed to just cheap).  There are fan pages devoted to these wines, including Ripple which is no longer produced.

Another drink we quickly remembered was the Sloe Gin Fizz followed by Gin & Tonics, Whiskey Sours, Brandy Alexanders and Long Island Iced Teas

There were no Cosmopolitans or the myriad variations of Martinis (lemontini, appletini, etc.) that exist today or the numerous flavors of Absolut Vodka.  (BTW -- the Absolut Vodka advertising campaign built around the shape of it’s bottle began in 1980 and is one of the longest-running marketing campaigns ever.) There were no wine coolers, either, or Sam Adams beer.  I do remember a Sangria craze sweeping through our off-campus lives in the early 70s. 

The Singapore Sling was popularized, as I remember, at Polynesian-themed restaurants like Trader Vic’s and Kon-Tiki Ports.  It was created in the early part of the 20th century.  You can learn about that history here:

What drinks do you remember Baby-Boomers and where did you have them?


To see what the Polynesian-themed restaurants in Boston looked like, check out this article that appeared on the Boston Globe's website: Tiki style -- and drink recipes by Christopher Muther.

If you’re a fan of the show Mad Men, there’s a link on the AMC site about drinks popular during the 1960s.  The Brandy Alexander popped out at me.  I was offered a BA at some soiree or other and expected sweetness and light but wasn’t prepared for the Brandy part.  

I found this fun site that has photos of a pamphlet called Mixology – 1970.

Long Island Ice Tea - If you’ve ever tasted this drink, you know it packs a punch.  I've found two versions of the drink’s history.  Some say it was concocted in Long Island New York in the late 1970s.  Another version says it was invented in the 1920 in Long Island, Tennessee.

Since Boston is where I spent my college years, I thought I'd include this site about 70s & 80s Nightclubs in the Boston area.  



Good and plenty!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.


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