The suffering bastard created by a hungover bar steward in the 1940s. Designed as a cure for someone suffering from a hangover. Like the many before us, we have adapted the recipe. We can promise you won’t suffer while drinking this cocktail.
Joe Scialom invented the suffering bastard at the Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo. Some say it was to cure his hangover while others say it was for a British officer. The original recipe is a point of debate. Is it a tiki drink with various rum, or primarily a brandy or bourbon. The bourbon version of the suffering bastard seems to be the most popular rendition.
Suffering Bastard Cocktail
The drink is a combination of bourbon, gin, fresh lime juice, bitters and ginger ale as filler. We chose to use Ranger Creek .36 bourbon and their gin #2. The gin was a special whiskey club release with blueberries in the botanical mix. The bourbon has mashbill of 70% corn, 16% rye and 14% barley. This mashbill produces a well-rounded bourbon that is not heavy in the spice or the sweet.
The traditional recipe uses equal parts bourbon and gin, but we prefer to let the bourbon shine. We adjusted the mixture to 2 to 1 bourbon vs. the 1 to 1 ratio the original uses.
The combination of the gin botanicals with bourbon seems odd but magically works. The fresh lime juice cuts some of the roughness while the bitters add the right amount of depth.
1.5 oz bourbon
.75 oz gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
How to make
Pour the bourbon, gin and lime juice into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass then top with ginger ale. Stir and garnish with mint or lime.