Why Alder’s Bar Manager Drinks the Suffering Bastard


Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. 

Today’s call comes by way of Kevin Denton, bar director of Alder (157 Second Avenue; 212-539-1900) and WD-50 (50 Clinton Street; 212-477-2900).


What’s your call drink?

The Suffering Bastard.

What is it about this drink that you like so much?

I find that almost any bar has the ingredients to make it. It’s almost always good.

Has it always been your favorite? How long did it take you to find it? What was that process like?

No, I came to it recently. Sometimes Wylie [Dufresne, owner of WD-50 and Alder] asks me to make a big batch of cocktails for the kitchen if a guest drops off booze for them. Usually it’s like, “What do I have to work with here, a bottle of gin and a bottle of whiskey, some ginger beer? Bastards all around!” I first heard about it through Dave Berry’s books. Upon further research I discovered that the popular variations — “Dead Bastard” and “Dying Bastard” — were invented at The Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg, New York. My band used to play that bar in college!

Could you name a few places around town that make your favorite drink?

Any cocktail bar will know how to make this. I like drinking on Avenue C, so I’d recommend The Wayland or Evelyn.

What’s the recipe for those that want to make it at home?

Easy: equal parts gin, bourbon, and lime with a dash of Angostura and topped with ginger beer. If you come to Alder, you can get a clarified and carbonated version, ‘Suffering Fools.’

7. What’s your second favorite drink?

Like every other bartender in the world, I love daiquiris. I fell in love with Flor de Cana rum in Nicaragua. Two ounces of that to three-quarters ounce of lime and a half ounce cane syrup. Shake it as hard as you can.