Suffering Bastard Cocktail Recipe

Suffering Bastard 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.

October 26, 2023


The Suffering Bastard cocktail was created by Joe Scialom, a bartender at the Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, during World War II. It was originally concocted as a hangover cure for British officers. The cocktail gained popularity and became a staple at Tiki bars.

  • The name 'Suffering Bastard' is said to have been inspired by the hungover state of the British officers.
  • The cocktail is also known as the 'Suffering Bar Steward'.
  • The original recipe called for gin and brandy, but it has evolved over time, with bourbon often being used in place of brandy.

How Suffering Bastard Tastes?

The Suffering Bastard has a complex taste profile, with a blend of sour, sweet, and spicy flavors. It is a strong and refreshing cocktail with a hint of bitterness from the bitters and a slight tang from the lime juice.

Interesting facts about Suffering Bastard

  • The Suffering Bastard is considered a Tiki cocktail, despite its origins in Egypt.
  • The cocktail was featured in the 1947 edition of 'Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide'.
  • The Suffering Bastard has inspired several variations, such as the 'Dying Bastard' and the 'Dead Bastard'.


A few good options for Suffering Bastard are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Recipe. How to make Suffering Bastard Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Add the gin, brandy or bourbon, lime juice, and Angostura bitters to the glass.
  3. Top with ginger ale and stir gently to combine.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving for a more refreshing cocktail.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients without losing the fizz of the ginger ale.

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What you could change in Suffering Bastard

  • You can substitute the gin with vodka for a different flavor profile.
  • If you don't have Angostura bitters, you can use orange bitters instead.
  • Brandy can be replaced with bourbon if preferred.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Suffering Bastard

Why is it called the Suffering 'Bastard'?

This colourful name is indeed part of the cocktail's rich history. The name supposedly reflects its original purpose: to cure a 'suffering' hangover.

Does the Suffering Bastard contain any sugar?

The Suffering Bastard does not contain any added sugar. However, it does include ginger ale, which often contains sugar. If you're watching your sugar intake, you might want to consider substituting the ginger ale for a sugar-free option.

What types of food pair well with the Suffering Bastard?

The Suffering Bastard pairs well with spicy or aromatic dishes. Thai or Mexican cuisine works particularly well. The cocktail's spicy and sweet flavour profile counteracts the heat of these dishes beautifully.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Suffering Bastard?

While the Suffering Bastard is a strongly alcoholic cocktail, you can make a mocktail version by substituting non-alcoholic gin and brandy or bourbon flavourings for the spirits, and omitting the bitters.

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Extra information to help you make Suffering Bastard

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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