Suffering Bastard

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The Suffering Bastard is a Cocktail which consists of Brandy, Gin, Sweetened Lime Juice, Bitters, and Ginger Ale.

The Suffering Bastard was created by Joe Scialom at the Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.


Original Recipe

From Joe Scialom's private papers, and published in Beachbum Berry Remixed by Jeff Berry, 2010

Shake everything, except ginger beer, with ice. Stir in ginger beer and pour into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with orange slice and sprig of mint.

Historical References

Time Magazine, 1st May 1950

"Egypt's favorite drink is called a Suffering Bastard"

Time Magazine, 29th August 1955

"I was advised by the bartender at the back bar of Shepheard's that the concoction was popularly called a "Suffering Bastard" and, originally, a "Suffering Bar Steward," so named by its inventor, a usually hung-over attendant there. While the ingredients were secret, it did contain gin, brandy, fresh mint, ginger ale and certain fluids which not only magically cured a hangover, but usually started the patient on his way to a new one."

New York Times, 1959

Interview with Joe Scialom:

"When liquor was short during the war, he had to concoct "something to quench the boys' thirst." He combined equal parts gin and brandy with a dash of Angostura bitters, a teaspoon of Rose's lime juice, and English ginger ale. He garnished the drink with a sprig of fresh mint, a slice of orange and a cucumber peel. The bartender advised Americans to substitute ginger beer for the ginger ale because the British version of the soft drink is more heavily seasoned with ginger than ours."

Winnipeg Free Press, 5th July 1972

"During the bleak war days, Shepheard's ran short of cognac, gin and most imported liquors. "We had to make do with stuff that wasn't so smooth," he said, "and the British officers began to complain that they were getting bad hangovers".

"I decided to seek a cure, and I finally dreamed up a drink that I named The Suffering Bar Steward. It consisted of gin we borrowed from the South African post exchange, brandy from Cyprus and bitters made by a chemist across the street from the hotel. To this we added lime juice made in Cairo and a local ginger ale provided by a Greek merchant of dubious character.

"The result was a drink with an unexpectedly pleasant taste and a delayed action effect."

Other Recipes

  • 1 oz Brandy
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 teaspoon Rose's Lime Cordial
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger Ale

Fill a cocktail shaker two thirds full of ice and add Bourbon, Gin, Lime Juice, and Bitters. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into an Ice-filled Collins Glass. Top with the Ginger Ale, and add a sprig of mint, orange slice, and cucumber peel as the garnish.

"Winnipeg Free Press", 5th July 1972

  • One ounce gin
  • Two ounces brandy or bourbon
  • One teaspoon lime juice
  • One dash bitters

Add cracked ice and fill glass with ginger ale, decorating with a slice of orange.

See Also

Suffering Bastard - Trader Vic's

External Links

Suffering Bar Steward

Mentioned in show The Venture Brothers, Season 3 - Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny. In a flashback scene Doctor Venture has to order another "Suffering Bastard" when finding out that QuizBoy considered him an idol. Promptly passes out on the floor.

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