Dying Bastard Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 7, 2023

The Dying Bastard Recipe is a blend of three spirits, lime, and ginger beer. It is the second of three famed creations by Egyptian bartender Joe Scialom.
Dying Bastard cocktail garnished with lime peel

Just by reading the name, you might already suspect that the Dying Bastard is a riff off the Suffering Bastard. It's a low-ABV cocktail with a beautiful spicy note from ginger beer.

Quick Facts Dying Bastard Cocktail

  • Method: shaken
  • Flavor profile: spicy, mild
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Glassware: highball glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 11% ABV, 14.5 grams of alcohol per serving
Dying Bastard cocktail garnished with lime peel

Dying Bastard Recipe

A twist on the Suffering bastard, adding Bourbon to the recipe.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: African
Keyword: angostura, bourbon, Brandy, Gin, lime juice
Servings: 1
Cost: $3.50


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Lemon squeezer
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker


  • 0.5 oz Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Lime juice
  • 2 Dashes of Aromatic bitters
  • 3 oz Ginger beer


  • Add all ingredients except ginger beer into a cocktail shaker with ice.
    0.5 oz Brandy, 0.5 oz Gin, 0.5 oz Bourbon, 0.5 oz Lime juice, 2 Dashes of Aromatic bitters
  • 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.
    3 oz Ginger beer


Serving: 5oz
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients of the Dying Bastard

The recipe for making a Dying Bastard cocktail calls for three different types of spirits but is well-balanced by ginger beer and lime:

  • Gin - As it's known that Scialom used gin from British soldiers in the 1940s, chances are that London Dry or Dry Gin has been used - we prefer London Dry.
  • Brandy - Another spirit that, like gin, was part of the original cocktail's recipe. Generally, brandy comprises many subtypes, but primarily cognac is used to make the drink.
  • Bourbon - There's an ongoing discussion if bourbon or brandy is part of the Suffering Bastard recipe. Conveniently, the Dying Bastard uses both and you don't have to worry about that.
  • Lime Juice - Fresh lime juice brings much-needed acidity and balance.
  • Ginger beer - Ginger beer adds a spicy kick to the cocktail and refreshing carbonation. Make sure to actually use ginger beer and not ginger ale since the latter will make the drink too sweet.
  • Aromatic bitters - We recommend using Angostura bitters, although Scialom used something else. According to his daughter, Joe Scialom used homemade bitters from an apothecary across the street from Shepheard's hotel.

Recommendations for making the drink

Serve the cocktail in a tall glass - a Collins or Highball glass are both excellent choices. 

Fill the glass with large ice cubes or a Collins Stick. Since the drink has a low alcohol content, you don't want the ice to melt as slowly as possible to avoid further dilution. The larger and less "polluted" the ice, the slower it melts.

Mix all ingredients except the ginger beer in a cocktail shaker. Since ginger beer is carbonated, you should not shake it. You only add it after you poured the spirit and lime mix into the glass. 


The two renowned variations of the Dying Bastard are the Dead Bastard and the Suffering Bastard. Well, actually, the Dying Bastard is a variation of the latter, not the other way around.

The three recipes follow the logical order: Suffering - Dying - Dead. The first has a base of gin and bourbon, the second adds brandy, and the third variation adds rum to the list of ingredients. All three are made with ginger beer and lime.

Origin of the Dying Bastard Recipe

The recipe was developed by Joe Scialom in the 1940s while working at the Shepheards Hotel in Cairo. He came up with the concoction when he tried to find a way to cure the hangovers of British soldiers during WWII. 

The history of the Dying Bastard and its two related cocktails was long unclear until Jeff Beachbum Berry, a Tiki cocktail historian, set out to find the inventor and met Scialom's daughter Colette to learn more about the origin of these drinks. [1]

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