Dead Bastard cocktail with limes and ginger on table

Dead Bastard Cocktail

By Timo Torner / Last updated on January 15, 2023

First published on January 9, 2023 

The Dead Bastard is a recipe variation of the Suffering Bastard and Dying Bastard. The original recipes of these three drinks were all created by famed bartender Joe Scialom.

Dead Bastard, Dying Bastard, and Suffering Bastard - It doesn't take a genius to realize that these three recipes are related. But the cocktail recipes are not only connected and were invented by the same bartender, but are also each to be understood as increments.

The Suffering Bastard is the original recipe using Gin and Brandy as base spirits. The Dying Bastard adds Bourbon to the mix, and finally, the Dead Bastard also adds Rum to the recipe.

The history of the base recipe and its riffs was long unclear until Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, legendary Tiki bartending icon, set out to trace the origins of the cocktail. [1]


The recipe of the Dead Bastard is very similar to the other two Bastard cocktails. Here's what you'll need to make it:

  • Gin - The Gin used in this recipe should either be a Dry or London Dry Gin with a classic, juniper-forward flavor profile.
  • Brandy - The second liquor that's part of the drink is Brandy. In most cases, Cognac, a subtype of Brandy, is used; -A VS or affordable VSOP Cognac is a great choice.
  • Bourbon - "Bourbon or Brandy" - This ongoing discussion about which of both was part of the original Suffering Bastard was mostly settled after Beachbum Berry's detective work. Conveniently, the Dying Bastard and Dead Bastard use both spirits in their recipe.
  • Light Rum - The fourth spirit that builds the base is Rum; -Light Rum, to be precise.
  • Fresh Lime Juice - Freshly squeezed lime juice brings much-needed acidity and balances the drink.
  • Ginger beer - Adding a kick of spice and refreshing carbonation to the cocktail. Make sure to use ginger beer and not ginger ale. The latter will make the drink too sweet.
  • Bitters - For the aromatic bitters part, we recommend using the classic Angostura bitters, although Scialom used something else. According to Scialom's daughter Colette, he bought homemade bitters from an apothecary across the street.

How to make it

A Dead Bastard is best served in a tall, slim cocktail glass like a Collins or Highball glass.

  • Step 1: Add Gin, Brandy, Bourbon, Rum, lime, and aromatic bitters into your cocktail shaker. Add plenty of ice cubes and shake the drink for 15 to 18 seconds. 
  • Step 2: Strain into the glass over fresh ice.
  • Step 3: Top with ice-cold ginger beer. Optionally, you can garnish the cocktail with a lime wedge.
Refreshing Dead Bastard cocktail recipe


I mentioned the popular Variations before: the Dead Bastard itself is a riff on the Dying Bastard, which, in turn, is a variation of the Suffering Bastard recipe. 

The Dying Bastard is a less potent drink that lacks the sweet and crisp flavors of Rum. The recipe of the Suffering Bastard has even fewer sweet notes as it omits the corn-based Bourbon part of the recipe.

Dead Bastard cocktail with limes and ginger on table

Dead Bastard

A potent cocktail, and a twist on the Dying Bastard, adding light Rum.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: African
Keyword: bourbon, Cognac, Gin, rum
Servings: 1
Cost: $3.80



  • 0.5 oz Cognac
  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes of Aromatic bitters (e.g. Angostura bitters)
  • 3 oz Ginger beer


  • Add all ingredients except ginger beer into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake for 15 - 18 seconds and then strain into a Collins or Highball glass.
  • Top with chilled ginger beer and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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