The Sling is a style of mixed drink which predates the Cocktail, in fact the first known definition of the Cocktail refers to it as a "bittered sling", meaning that it is a Sling to which bitters have been added. At it's core, the Sling is comprised of Spirits, Sugar, and Water.
There can be some confusion between the Sling, Toddy, and Skin since they are all virtually the same drink. The common thought is that the Sling is predominantly American, the Toddy is predominantly from England, and the Skin is predominantly Irish.
Sling versus Toddy versus Skin
While it is commonly stated that the Sling is always cold and the Toddy is always hot, there are many instances in older bartenders guides where they list recipes for hot slings and cold toddies. Another difference that is often referred to, is that a Sling will include the addition of a spice, and the Toddy won't, but again, there are older recipes which appear to show the opposite.
The Skin is seen as getting its name from the fact that it is always garnished with a piece of lemon peel, and the Sling and Toddy are not, but again, there are older recipes which don't support this.
- 2 ounce Spirit
- 1 ounce water
- 1 tsp Syrup or Sugar
Dissolve the sugar in the water (if not using a syrup). Shake with ice and strain into a small glass. Garnish with a light dusting of nutmeg