Suffering Bastard Recipe

Suffering Bastard cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with mint leaves

Liz Clayman

I can't explain how I've managed to stay interested in mixology this long without ever getting around to mixing myself a drink as enticingly named as the Suffering Bastard.

The drink's genesis can be traced to the Long Bar at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo. As the story goes, in the late 1940s, the Shepheard's bar steward was Joe Scialom. One day in 1947, according to Esquire, Scialom was desperate for a hangover remedy and the Suffering Bar Steward (soon somewhat sloppily rechristened as the Suffering Bastard) was the result.

There are a number of recipes for the Suffering Bastard floating about. Some are merely Mai tai variations with extra rum, while some call for brandy instead of bourbon, and others for rum. Today's drink historians generally settle on bourbon as one of the two base spirits, along with a shot of gin. The drink is then leavened with the healing powers of lime juice and bitters (the lime juice can range anywhere from a teaspoon to an ounce) and lengthened with a good dose of ginger ale.

Since I'm just now crossing it off my list, I can't say if the Suffering Bastard lives up to its reputation as a hangover buster. I can say that on a lazy evening, with one of these in front of you, "suffering" is about the last word that comes to mind.

Recipe Details

Suffering Bastard Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Active 3 mins
Total 5 mins
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 1 ounce bourbon

  • 1 ounce gin

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

  •  1 dash Angostura bitters

  • 4 ounces chilled ginger ale


  1. Pour ingredients into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and top with ginger ale, adding more ice if needed. Garnish with a sprig of mint or an orange slice.

    gin being poured from a jigger into a rocks glass with ice

    Liz Clayman

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
115 Calories
0g Fat
13g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)