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Suffering Bastard

The Suffering Bastard has a storied history, with various versions and recipes available to suit different tastes. Whether you prefer a traditional gin-and-brandy buck or a more exotic Tiki bar variation, the Suffering Bastard is a refreshing and flavorful option that’s sure to impress.

Boozy Alcoholic Suffering Bastard Cocktail with Lime and Ginger Beer

The drink has two distinct variations: one made with gin, brandy, and Angostura bitters, and another featuring lime juice, ginger beer, and other flavorful ingredients. Today, the Suffering Bastard remains a beloved classic that’s enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world.

History

The Suffering Bastard cocktail has a fascinating origin story that dates back to World War II. It was first created by Joe Scialom, an American bartender who worked at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel. The drink was initially intended to act as a hangover cure for Allied troops stationed in North Africa.

Boozy Alcoholic Suffering Bourbon Cocktail with Lime and Ginger Beer

The original recipe for the Suffering Bastard cocktail called for equal parts gin and brandy. To this, Scialom added lime juice, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer, creating a fresh and spicy cocktail that quickly became a favorite among British soldiers.

The name “Suffering Bastard” was reportedly coined by the British soldiers who frequented the bar at Shepheard’s Hotel. It’s said that the cocktail was so potent that it left them feeling like “suffering bastards” the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

The Suffering Bastard cocktail gained popularity beyond the walls of Shepheard’s Hotel and became a staple of Tiki bars in the 1940s and 1950s. Some bartenders even created their own variations of the drink, including the “Dying Bastard” and the “Dead Bastard.”

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If you’re looking to try a Suffering Bastard cocktail for yourself, there are plenty of great recipes available online. Some of the best brands of gin and brandy to use in the cocktail include London Dry Gin and Cognac. And if you’re not a fan of ginger beer, you can always substitute ginger ale for a sweeter flavor.

Boozy Alcoholic Suffering Bastard Cocktail with Lime and Ginger Beer

Suffering Bastard

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Although the Suffering Bastard may have a couple more ingredients than most cocktails might, they’re all easy to find in your local liquor store. Once you take a look at what’s inside, you’ll start to understand the meaning of “hair of the dog.” 

Ingredients

  • Bourbon - 1 ounce (30ml)
  • London Dry gin - 1 ounce (30ml)
  • Lime juice (fresh squeezed)  - ½ ounce (15ml)
  • Angostura Bitters - 2 dashes
  • Ginger Beer - To top
  • Mint sprig - Garnish

Instructions

  1. Add bourbon, gin, and bitters to a Boston shaker with ice, shake until visibly chilled. 
  2. Single strain shaker contents into a Collins glass over fresh ice. 
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig.
  5. Enjoy!

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Variations

The suffering bastard cocktail has been around for quite some time, and over the years, mixologists and bartenders have come up with a variety of ways to put their own spin on this classic drink. Here are some of the most popular variations:

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Trader Vic’s Suffering Bastard

Trader Vic’s is a well-known name in the world of tiki bars, and their variation of the suffering bastard cocktail is a must-try for any fan of the genre. This version of the drink includes rum, brandy, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer, along with a dash of Angostura bitters and a sprig of mint for garnish. It’s typically served in a highball glass and is a little sweeter than some other versions of the drink.

Dying Bastard

The dying bastard is a variation of the suffering bastard that includes curaçao and orgeat syrup, giving it a sweet and spicy flavor. This version of the cocktail is typically made with gin, brandy, and fresh lime juice, along with a dash of Angostura bitters and a slice of orange for garnish. It’s a little more complex than some other variations of the drink, but it’s definitely worth trying if you’re looking for something a little different.

Dead Bastard

The dead bastard is a variation of the suffering bastard that is made with bourbon instead of gin. This version of the drink is typically a little sweeter than the original, and it’s often served in a Collins glass with a sprig of mint for garnish. It’s a great option for anyone who prefers bourbon to gin, and it’s a little less potent than some other variations of the cocktail.

Shepheard Hotel Suffering Bastard

The Shepheard Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, is credited with inventing the suffering bastard cocktail back in the 1940s, so it’s only fitting that they have their own variation of the drink. This version of the cocktail includes gin, brandy, fresh lime juice, and ginger ale, along with a dash of Angostura bitters and a cucumber slice for garnish. It’s a little lighter and more refreshing than some other variations of the drink, making it a great option for hot summer days.

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Beachbum Berry Remixed Suffering Bastard

The Beachbum Berry Remixed variation of the suffering bastard cocktail is a little more complex than some other versions of the drink, but it’s definitely worth the effort. This version of the cocktail includes gin, brandy, fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup, and Angostura bitters, along with a sprig of mint and a slice of orange for garnish. It’s typically served in a Collins glass and has a sweet and sour flavor that’s sure to please.


Suffering Bastard
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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