Suffering Bastard

The original name for this drink was apparently the Suffering Bar Steward as created by Joe Scialom at the Long Bar at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo Egypt (from 1937 to 1952). But as one might expect in a noisy bar after a few drinks, the name gets a little mangled. There are several recipes for this floating about. For mine I turned to one of my favorite sources, Beachbum Berrry's Grog Log, by Jeff Berry.

Suffering Bastard

Garnish: mint sprig, orange wheel, and cherry.
Build in a rocks glass.
Source: Joe Scialom, The Shepheard Hotel, Cairo Egypt
The original recipe calls for "Rose's Lime Cordial" instead of fresh lime juice.

Joe, The Suffering Bar Steward

Joe Scialom

An old-school cosmopolite, Joe, who tends bar at Shepheard’s inn Cairo, Egypt, has served them up for tipplers in Brooklyn, Khartoum, Paris, Salzburg and various way stations. The sight of him grinning his big grin should rekindle memories for many a North African veteran who paused for refreshment at the famous Long Bar during the recent world excitement. Joe, as ex-GI’s may remember, is famous for inventing drinks which go down easy and hit hard thereafter. His latest opus is called the Suffering Bar Steward, and Joe discovered it one morning when searching desperately for a pickup after a bad night. It goes like this: ½ jigger bourbon, ½ jigger gin, 1 tsp lime juice, a dash of bitters, two sprigs mint, ice and fillup with ginger ale – or if desperate, ginger ale and more whiskey.

(Above from a newspaper clipping provided by Jeff "Beachbum" Berry)

In addition to the "Suffering Bastard", Joe also created two additional variations of this drink, "The Dying Bastard" and "The Dead Bastard". From "A Trio Of Bastards" (, the "dying" bastard switches the spirit measures to 1/2 ounce and adds bourbon (ie. 1/2 oz gin, brandy, bourbon), and then the "dead" bastard adds light rum (ie. 1/2 oz gin, brandy, bourbon, light rum). Since I would think each of these drinks should gradually get stronger and stronger, I might use 3/4 ounce measures in both the dead and dying instead of 1/2.