Suffering Bastard Cocktail Drink

Suffering Bastard

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Simplicity shines in the Suffering Bastard recipe, combining uncomplicated ingredients for an easy-to-make drink that takes the guesswork out of cocktail making.

Suffering Bastard Recipe

Try this uncomplicated Suffering Bastard recipe, combining the boldness of spirits with the coolness of citrus, designed for your effortless summer enjoyment!

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

178 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Gin
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 4 oz ginger beer, chilled
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprig or orange slice, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Shaker Set
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill glass: Start by stirring some ice cubes in your highball glass to chill it.
  • Add Bitters: Include 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters for depth of flavor.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze for that citrus zing in ½ oz fresh lime juice.
  • Add Bourbon: Pour 1 oz Bourbon into your shaker.
  • Add Gin: Follow the bourbon with 1 oz Gin.
  • Shake: Add ice into your shaker and shake for about 15 seconds.
  • Strain: Strain the drink in a highball filled with fresh ice cubes.
  • Top with Ginger Beer: Fill the rest of the glass with about 4 oz ginger beer.
  • Stir Gently: With a bar spoon, gently stir your concoction to mix the flavors.
  • Garnish: Embellish your drink with a sprig of mint or an orange slice.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Bourbon: No bourbon? Try with brandy, some say to be the original ingredient. Or step into the tiki era and use Rum instead. The flavor profile will shift, but they bring unique charm to the drink.
  • Gin: If Gin's botanicals aren't your thing, a mild vodka can slide in without overshadowing the other flavors.
  • Angostura Bitters: If these are missing from your cabinet, orange bitters can be a great alternative, adding an extra citrusy dimension.

Making a Pitcher of Suffering Bastard:

  • Scale: Serving a crowd? Just multiply all ingredients by 8 for a pitcher. You'll need 8 oz of bourbon and Gin, 4 oz of lime juice, 8 dashes of bitters, and 32 oz of ginger beer.
  • Mix: Combine the bourbon, Gin, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Stir well, then chill in the fridge. Right before serving, add the ginger beer for effervescence.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Bourbon/Gin Substitute: Non-alcoholic spirits are available, or you could mix apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract to mimic bourbon's sweetness and depth. For Gin, a non-alcoholic alternative or a splash of tonic with a few crushed juniper berries can work.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the regular spirits with these substitutes and follow the original steps for a mocktail version of the Suffering Bastard.

Making it Vegan:

  • Gin and Bourbon: They are usually vegan-friendly, check the label anyway for certified vegan products.
  • Bitters: Ensure the brand of Angostura bitters you're using is vegan, as some bitters use animal products in the filtration process.
  • Garnish: Stick to plant-based garnishes like the classic mint sprig or orange slice.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
178
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
9
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
19
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
7
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Suffering Bastard Cocktail Drink

Suffering Bastard Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Try this uncomplicated Suffering Bastard recipe, combining the boldness of spirits with the coolness of citrus, designed for your effortless summer enjoyment!
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 178

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Gin
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 4 oz ginger beer - chilled
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprig or orange slice - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Shaker Set
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill glass: Start by stirring some ice cubes in your highball glass to chill it.
  • Add Bitters: Include 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters for depth of flavor.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze for that citrus zing in ½ oz fresh lime juice.
  • Add Bourbon: Pour 1 oz Bourbon into your shaker.
  • Add Gin: Follow the bourbon with 1 oz Gin.
  • Shake: Add ice into your shaker and shake for about 15 seconds.
  • Strain: Strain the drink in a highball filled with fresh ice cubes.
  • Top with Ginger Beer: Fill the rest of the glass with about 4 oz ginger beer.
  • Stir Gently: With a bar spoon, gently stir your concoction to mix the flavors.
  • Garnish: Embellish your drink with a sprig of mint or an orange slice.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Bourbon: No bourbon? Try with brandy, some say to be the original ingredient. Or step into the tiki era and use Rum instead. The flavor profile will shift, but they bring unique charm to the drink.
  • Gin: If Gin's botanicals aren't your thing, a mild vodka can slide in without overshadowing the other flavors.
  • Angostura Bitters: If these are missing from your cabinet, orange bitters can be a great alternative, adding an extra citrusy dimension.

Making a Pitcher of Suffering Bastard:

  • Scale: Serving a crowd? Just multiply all ingredients by 8 for a pitcher. You'll need 8 oz of bourbon and Gin, 4 oz of lime juice, 8 dashes of bitters, and 32 oz of ginger beer.
  • Mix: Combine the bourbon, Gin, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Stir well, then chill in the fridge. Right before serving, add the ginger beer for effervescence.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Bourbon/Gin Substitute: Non-alcoholic spirits are available, or you could mix apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract to mimic bourbon's sweetness and depth. For Gin, a non-alcoholic alternative or a splash of tonic with a few crushed juniper berries can work.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the regular spirits with these substitutes and follow the original steps for a mocktail version of the Suffering Bastard.

Making it Vegan:

  • Gin and Bourbon: They are usually vegan-friendly, check the label anyway for certified vegan products.
  • Bitters: Ensure the brand of Angostura bitters you're using is vegan, as some bitters use animal products in the filtration process.
  • Garnish: Stick to plant-based garnishes like the classic mint sprig or orange slice.

What is a Suffering Bastard?

A Suffering Bastard cocktail combines bourbon with Gin, fresh lime juice, bitters, and ginger beer. This drink is often sought for soothing hangovers. The IBA(International Bartender Association) recognize the drink as one of the “New Era Drinks”.

A side shot of a Suffering Bastard cocktail in highball glass on a green cloth placed on a wooden table with sugar cubes, orange pieces, and a jigger around, in front of a red wall as background.

What is a Suffering Bastard made of – The ingredients

Get these ingredients ready to make your own Suffering Bastard:

  • Bourbon: Provides a rich, deep sweetness and a woody backbone to the cocktail’s profile.
  • Gin: Introduces a layer of herbal notes and complexity due to its botanicals.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Adds a tangy zest, brightening the drink and balancing the sweetness.
  • Angostura Bitters: Infuses the cocktail with subtle spices and botanicals, enhancing its depth of flavor.
  • Ginger Beer: Offers a bubbly carbonation and a spicy-sweet finish that complements the stronger spirits.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills and slightly dilutes the mixture for a more mellow drinking experience.
  • Mint Sprig or Orange Slice (for garnish, optional): Adds a visual appeal and an extra aromatic element upon serving.

Bourbon, Gin, Ginger beer and two limes laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Suffering Bastard?

Follow our simple guide to make your own Suffering Bastard:

1
<p>Add some ice cubes into your serving glass to chill it.</p>

Add some ice cubes into your serving glass to chill it.

2
<p>Drop a dash of Angostura bitters in the shaker to enhance the cocktail’s subtle spices and botanicals.</p>

Drop a dash of Angostura bitters in the shaker to enhance the cocktail’s subtle spices and botanicals.

3
<p>Squeeze in 1/2 oz of fresh lime juice, injecting a tangy zest that brightens the overall taste.</p>

Squeeze in 1/2 oz of fresh lime juice, injecting a tangy zest that brightens the overall taste.

4
<p>Pour 1 oz of bourbon into your shaker, setting the base for the cocktail’s robust flavor.</p>

Pour 1 oz of bourbon into your shaker, setting the base for the cocktail’s robust flavor.

5
<p>Add 1 oz of Gin, introducing a complementary layer of herbal complexity.</p>

Add 1 oz of Gin, introducing a complementary layer of herbal complexity.

6
<p>Fill the shaker three-quarters full with ice.</p>

Fill the shaker three-quarters full with ice.

7
<p>Seal the shaker and shake vigorously.</p>

Seal the shaker and shake vigorously.

8
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled highball glass.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled highball glass.

9
<p>Refill your chilled highball glass with fresh ice cubes.</p>

Refill your chilled highball glass with fresh ice cubes.

10
<p>Strain your drink in your fresh ice-filled highball glass.</p>

Strain your drink in your fresh ice-filled highball glass.

11
<p>Fill the rest of the glass with about 4 oz of chilled ginger beer, creating a fizzy, sweet contrast to the spirits.</p>

Fill the rest of the glass with about 4 oz of chilled ginger beer, creating a fizzy, sweet contrast to the spirits.

12
<p>Give your concoction a gentle stir using a bar spoon, blending the flavors without diminishing the carbonation of the ginger beer.</p>

Give your concoction a gentle stir using a bar spoon, blending the flavors without diminishing the carbonation of the ginger beer.

13
<p>Embellish your drink with a sprig of mint or an orange slice, if desired, to add visual appeal and an aromatic garnish.</p>

Embellish your drink with a sprig of mint or an orange slice, if desired, to add visual appeal and an aromatic garnish.

14
<p>Enjoy your Suffering Bastard cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Suffering Bastard cocktail!

A side shot of a Suffering Bastard cocktail in highball glass on a green cloth placed on a wooden table with sugar cubes, orange pieces, and a jigger around, in front of a grey stone wall with some plant leaves hanging as background.

Suffering Bastard Tiki Drink with Rum

A Suffering Bastard with rum is a twist on the classic cocktail, substituting rum for the traditional Gin or bourbon. This version retains the refreshing zest and spice of the original, using lime juice and ginger beer, but introduces the sweet, often complex notes of rum. The change in spirit alters the flavor profile and often connects the drink more closely to tiki culture, given rum’s prominence in tiki-style cocktails.

A Suffering Bastard cocktail, shot from above, in highball glass on black stone coaster on a green cloth placed on a wooden table with sugar cubes, orange pieces, and a jigger around.

History and Origins of the Suffering Bastard

Joe Scialom, a renowned bartender at the Long Bar of the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, created the Suffering Bastard during World War II. Scialom aimed to craft a remedy for the hangovers that soldiers and patrons often experienced after nights of heavy drinking. He knew he needed a concoction that would revive the spirits of those suffering from the night before.

In 1942, amidst the turmoil of war, Scialom introduced the first version of the Suffering Bastard, originally blending bourbon, Gin, lime juice, and bitters with a splash of ginger beer for some effervescence. The drink, known initially as the “Suffering Bar Steward,” was an instant hit. Soldiers found solace in its refreshing properties, and its popularity rapidly spread.

As the war progressed and supply shortages plagued the region, Scialom had to modify the ingredients based on what was available. These modifications led to several variations, though the original recipe remains popular.

After the war, the Suffering Bastard continued its journey around the globe, with the recipe undergoing further tweaks to suit local tastes and available ingredients. Scialom continued a storied career in bartending, even after being expelled from Egypt during the Suez Crisis.

A Suffering Bastard cocktail, shot from above, on a white marmol table with a Gin bottle, a Bourbon bottle, a ginger beer bottle and two limes around.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Suffering Bastard?
A typical Suffering Bastard contains approximately 150-180 calories, depending on the specific amounts and brands of alcohol used.
What is the alcohol content of a Suffering Bastard?
The alcohol by volume (ABV) of a Suffering Bastard is around 14%, and the proof can be roughly 28, given that it uses equal parts of bourbon and Gin, diluted with ginger beer and lime juice.
What types of alcohol are in a Suffering Bastard?
A Suffering Bastard traditionally includes bourbon and Gin as its primary spirits.
In what type of glass should a Suffering Bastard be served?
This cocktail is typically served in a highball glass.
What does a Suffering Bastard taste like?
The Suffering Bastard offers a complex flavor profile, combining the botanicals of Gin, the sweetness of bourbon, the spiciness of ginger beer, and the tartness of fresh lime juice.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Suffering Bastard?
The classic Suffering Bastard maintains a 1:1:4 ratio for bourbon, Gin, and ginger beer, adding a half measure of lime juice and a dash of Angostura bitters.
How is a Suffering Bastard typically served with ice?
It’s usually served over ice, ensuring the cocktail remains chilled and slightly diluted for a smoother taste.

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