Most cocktails come with a good story, but it’s hard to top this one: Created in Egypt and used to defeat the Nazis, the Suffering Bastard is a tiki drink that’s all vibes, no rum. Wait, let’s back that up. When was a cocktail used to defeat Nazis?
In 1941, Joe Scialom was bartending at the swanky Shepeard’s Hotel in Cairo, serving drinks to British soldiers battling Nazi forces commanded by Erwin Rommel — the Desert Fox himself. With the war effort making it hard to maintain a fully-stocked bar, Scialom concocted a drink made of bourbon, gin, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer. The Suffering Bastard proved to be so popular, Scialom received a telegram from British soldiers at the Battle of El Alamein ordering 8 gallons of the stuff, (via Chambar). Naturally, the Nazis were drunkenly routed at El Alamein and Hitler’s plan to capture the Suez Canal was in tatters. It was a major turning point in World War II and Winston Churchill famously said, “Before El Alamein, we never had a victory. After El Alamein, we never had a defeat,” (via Drink Magazine).
After the war, the Suffering Bastard returned home with its brothers in arms, eventually becoming a staple in tiki bars. So the next time you raise a Suffering Bastard, be sure to thank it for its service.