Unlike the folks over at Summerfruit Cup, I really don’t know a whole lot about the history of English drinking or, more specifically, Pimm’s products.
However, it appears that Pimm’s No. 1 was originally marketed as a “Gin Sling”:
Originally, Pimm’s No.6 was known simply as a “Vodka Sling”, just as No.1 was known as a “Gin Sling”. However, today, it is described (on the label) as a “Vodka Cup” and any allusion to its numerical designation has been renegated to the back of the label.
So, while the late 19th Century American version of the Sling was a fairly spartan affair, it seems that they may have evolved from these more complicated compound beverages with fruit and herb flavors.
I guess, in this sense, the Singapore Sling recipes make more sense, as an a la minute version of elaborate punch-like beverages.
As usual, this leaves the modern drink mixer rather in the lurch as what tradition to emulate when fixing something you might want to call a “Sling”. Do you follow Jerry Thomas’ spartan dictum of spirits sugar and water, pour a Pimm’s Cup, or mix a Singapore Sling?!
Any of the 3 could be considered correct!