Raffles Cocktail Recipe

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Raffles Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Raffles cocktail is named after the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore, which opened in 1887. It was created by the hotel's bartender, Ngiam Tong Boon, who wanted to create a sophisticated and elegant cocktail for the hotel's elite clientele. The Raffles cocktail quickly gained popularity among the hotel's guests and soon became a signature drink of the establishment.

  • The Raffles Hotel is known for its luxurious and colonial-style architecture
  • The cocktail is often enjoyed by those who appreciate a refined and elegant drinking experience
  • The Raffles cocktail is a symbol of the hotel's rich history and its commitment to providing exceptional service and experiences to its guests

How Raffles Tastes?

The Raffles cocktail has a complex and well-balanced taste, with a combination of sweet, sour, and bitter notes. It is both refreshing and invigorating, with a hint of spice and a smooth, velvety texture.

Interesting facts about Raffles

  • The Raffles cocktail is often served in a classic martini glass, showcasing its elegance and sophistication
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a lemon twist or a cherry, adding a touch of color and visual appeal
  • The Raffles Hotel also offers a non-alcoholic version of the cocktail, called the Raffles Royale, which features a blend of fruit juices and grenadine syrup


A few good options for Raffles are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the spirit base of the Raffles cocktail, contributing its botanical aromatics which form the backbone of the drink. Too little gin and you'll miss its juniper-led charm; too much and it may overwhelm the other ingredients. If you run out of gin, fear not - vodka can play understudy, although you'll lose gin's complex flavor profile.

Alex Green

Dry Vermouth

This aromatized, fortified wine adds a subtle complexity and slightly herbaceous taste that balances gin's strong character. Vermouth should be used judiciously; too much can dominate, making the drink more martini-like, and too little will make the gin feel lonely. No dry vermouth? Try a splash of white wine for a less complex, but still enjoyable twirl on the Raffles.

Emma Rose

Cherry Brandy

The cherry brandy sweetly serenades the other ingredients, introducing a fruity depth and rich color. Miss it out and you'll have a paler, less nuanced cocktail on your hands. Want a different fruit profile? A dash of raspberry liqueur could play a similar role, offering a more tart and vivid berry note.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Bitters

Just a couple of dashes can transform the Raffles cocktail from good to great, lending a citrusy spice that tickles the palate. Omitting the bitters is like forgetting the salt in a recipe; it'll be okay, but not quite right. For a change, you might experiment with aromatic bitters for a more traditional, spicier kick.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

It's not just a garnish, it's an experience; the twist releases essential oils that perfume the cocktail with a fresh citrus aroma. Without it, the drink loses a layer of sensory delight. Lime zest could be an alternative, giving a slightly more tropical fragrance.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

This sweet little orb is the finishing touch that doubles as a boozy treat at the bottom of your glass. Its absence wouldn't spell disaster, but it's the cherry on top... literally. Swap it with an orange peel for a fragrant garnish that keeps the citrus theme strong without the sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Raffles Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add the gin, dry vermouth, cherry brandy, and orange bitters
  3. Stir well until chilled
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer
  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best taste
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting it too much

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platters: A selection of creamy and nutty cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, and Gouda, will complement the botanical notes of the gin.
  • Seafood: Light seafood dishes like shrimp cocktail or smoked salmon can be a refreshing match for this aromatic cocktail.
  • Asian Cuisine: Try pairing the Raffles cocktail with dim sum or spring rolls to contrast with the cherry brandy's sweetness.


  • Chocolate Desserts: The rich flavors of chocolate mousse or chocolate-covered strawberries can balance the cocktail's tartness.
  • Fruit Tarts: A fruit tart with citrus or stone fruits would echo the cocktail's fruity and zesty notes.

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What you could change in Raffles

  • Gin: You can use vodka if you prefer a less botanical flavor
  • Dry Vermouth: Sweet vermouth can be used for a sweeter cocktail
  • Cherry Brandy: Regular brandy or cognac can be used if cherry brandy is not available

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Raffles Royale

  • Substitute the gin with Champagne for a bubblier experience.
  • Ingredients: 2 oz Champagne, 1 oz Dry Vermouth, 0.5 oz Cherry Brandy, 2 dashes Orange Bitters, Lemon Twist, Maraschino Cherry
  • The Royale variant invites effervescence to the soiree, tickling your nose and lightening the mood, best served to celebrate the little victories.

Spiced Raffles

  • Infuse the gin with warming spices like cinnamon and star anise before mixing.
  • Ingredients: 2 oz Spiced Gin, 1 oz Dry Vermouth, 0.5 oz Cherry Brandy, 2 dashes Orange Bitters, Lemon Twist, Maraschino Cherry
  • This twist adds an extra layer of cozy complexity, like wearing a velvet jacket on a chilly evening, igniting a hint of festive spirit with each sip.

Raffles Sour

  • Add fresh lemon juice and reduce the dry vermouth to sweeten the deal.
  • Ingredients: 2 oz Gin, 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth, 0.5 oz Cherry Brandy, 0.5 oz Lemon Juice, 2 dashes Orange Bitters, Lemon Wheel, Maraschino Cherry
  • This sour take on the classic pulls in a tartness that puckers the lips and brightens the eyes, perfect for sipping on a zestful summer day.

In case you forgot basics how to make Raffles

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Raffles

What is the best type of gin to use for the Raffles cocktail?

While any type of gin can be used to make the Raffles cocktail, a London Dry Gin is commonly used due to its balanced flavors and slightly floral notes.

Is the Raffles cocktail served shaken or stirred?

The Raffles cocktail is typically stirred, not shaken. This helps maintain the clarity of the drink while ensuring all the ingredients are well combined.

Is the Raffles cocktail a strong drink?

Yes, the Raffles cocktail is considered a strong drink due to the significant portion of gin it contains, which is considered a potent spirit.

What is the origin of the name 'Raffles' for this cocktail?

The Raffles cocktail is named after the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where it was created.

Can I make a Raffles cocktail ahead of time?

It is best to serve the Raffles cocktail fresh. However, you could prepare the mixture ahead of time, and then stir over ice and garnish just before serving.

Is the Raffles cocktail suitable for all seasons?

Yes, the blend of citrus and fruit flavors make the Raffles cocktail suitable for any season.

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