Painkiller

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Get Our Recipes Sent To Your Inbox
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Cocktail History

The Painkiller is a classic cocktail that was created in the 1970s by Daphne Henderson at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands. According to cocktail lore, the bar was named for its customers’ habit of paying tabs with wet dollar bills because the beach had no dock, which forced them to walk to the shore through shallow water. One customer named Charles Tobias, who went on to found Pusser’s Rum, tried to get Daphne to divulge her recipe on his many visits, but she refused. So he eventually recreated a version, named it the Pusser’s Painkiller, and filed a copyright for the name and recipe, claiming it as his own and even taking bars to court when they listed the cocktail’s name on their menus.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with sugarcane, spices, and water that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. The official recipe for a Painkiller calls for Pusser’s Royal Navy Rum, but we used Angostura 5-Year Superior Gold Rum. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Dark & Spicy Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the rum.

Pineapple Juice: This is the liquid juice of a pineapple. We used fresh pineapple juice.

Orange Juice: This is the liquid juice of an orange. We used freshly squeezed orange juice.

Cream of Coconut: This is a thick cream made with coconut milk, sugar, citric acid, and other ingredients. We used Coco Lopez Real Cream of Coconut because it has a rich flavor and silky texture.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Pineapple Slice: This is pineapple flesh that has been cut into a wedge shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple before it’s juiced. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer for the orange and the Hamilton Beach Large Juicer for the pineapple.

Chef’s Knife: This is used to cut larger fruits and vegetables into slices for the garnish. We used the OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.

Grater: This is used to grate spices or citrus peel. We used the OXO Good Grips Grater.

Tasting Notes

The Painkiller features a delightful nutmeg aroma, the unmistakable taste of pineapple at the forefront with significant coconut flavor coming in slightly behind, plus notes of banana from the rum, a slight burn on the finish, and citrus to round out the pineapple.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This tropical cocktail is just what we needed after -30 below temperatures this week. Kendall thought it was creamy and enjoyable, but she could take it or leave it compared to other tiki drinks. And Alex enjoyed another version he found more than this one that cut back on the pineapple juice to better balance the flavors.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“Though I find this cocktail to be pretty delicious in its execution, it unfortunately lacks a bit of the personality I tend to look for in a tiki cocktail. The combination of palatable rum, pineapple and orange juices, and coconut is tasty, for sure, but a fruity and sweet combination of those juices is hard to mess up. Where it lacks a bit, in my opinion, is how inoffensive it ends up being, with no flavors or complexity really popping out at all. It’s a drink that will please the masses, but long-time cocktail nerds may find it underwhelming.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“As far as tiki drinks go, I thought this one was alright. It’s not very complex compared to others I’ve tried, which is probably why it’s so popular. I mostly tasted sweetened coconut, and that was about all. I’ve come to love tropicals drinks that feature a tapestry of unique flavors, so I’d choose one like the Greena Colada or Ginger Inferno instead. They use more ingredients, but the result is worth the extra labor and higher price tag, in my opinion.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Pusser's Royal Navy Rum
 4 oz Pineapple Juice
 1 oz Orange Juice
 1 oz Cream of Coconut
 Grated Nutmeg
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Method
1

Add rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut to a shaker.

2

Dry shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Pour into a lowball glass or tiki mug.

4

Top with crushed ice.

5

Garnish with grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Pusser's Royal Navy Rum
 4 oz Pineapple Juice
 1 oz Orange Juice
 1 oz Cream of Coconut
 Grated Nutmeg
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut to a shaker.

2

Dry shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Pour into a lowball glass or tiki mug.

4

Top with crushed ice.

5

Garnish with grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

Painkiller

Make It a Mocktail: Use Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Riedel Mixing Rum Glass Set, Set of 4
Riedel Mixing Rum Glass Set, Set of 4
This pack contains four glasses; Machine-made and dishwasher safe; Included Components: 4 Rum Glasses
$69.00 Amazon Prime
Riedel Drink Specific Glassware Rocks Glass,9.98 oz
Riedel Drink Specific Glassware Rocks Glass,9.98 oz
All Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe; Capacity is 9.98 ounces; glass size is 3.23Lx3.23Wx3.27H (Inches)
$45.00 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
Cores and slices whole pineapples quickly and easily; Measurement markings help prevent piercing the bottom of the shell
$22.99 Amazon Prime
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Source: Circana, Retail Tracking Service, US Unit Sales, 12 Months Ending July 2023; CUP NOT INCLUDED
$69.85 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Canister automatically springs open when Toilet Brush is lifted; Sleek Canister neatly and discreetly stores Brush within easy reach
$20.74
NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
Sharp, bi-directional, stainless steel grating surface for fast, easy grating; Non-slip foot provides control while grating
$20.99 Amazon Prime

More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Privateer Cocktail Recipe

Privateer: A tequila cocktail made with passion fruit syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, smoke and salt bitters, rosemary, and Tajín

Ginger Inferno Cocktail Recipe

Ginger Inferno: A rum cocktail made with ginger liqueur, velvet falernum liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, a lime slice, and candied ginger

Brancolada Cocktail Recipe

Brancolada: A rum cocktail made with Fernet-Branca Menta, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, mint, and an orange wedge

Fog Cutter Cocktail Recipe

Fog Cutter: A rum, brandy, gin, and sherry cocktail made with triple sec, lemon juice, orgeat syrup, an orange peel, mint, and an orchid blossom

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-05-20.

1 Comment

  • Arel
    Posted October 1, 2022 7:00 am 0Likes

    I tried the recipe, it’s really good.
     

Leave a comment