With all the rum reviewing going on, I decided it was time to stop and take a cocktail break. I’m still on this rum kick so a cocktail made with a good rum might hit the spot. Since my last rum review was on Pusser’s Navy Rum, the obvious cocktail choice was a Painkiller. The Painkiller is one of those branded cocktails that wasn’t created by the company originally, but by Daphne Henderson who operated the Soggy Dollar in the British Virgin Islands. The Soggy Dollar is so named because it lacks a dock for boats so the sailors must swim to shore, making their money soggy. The original cocktail is still “secret” but was reverse engineered to what we taste today, by Charles Tobias, Pusser’s modern founder.
The Painkiller is a drink similar in nature to a Pina Colada or a Goombay Smash. They are all based on rum, with flavours of pineapple and coconut. But, each one is different, with the Pina Colada being the basic rum, pineapple and coconut drink and the Painkiller adding some orange juice and mixing up the ratio’s a bit, but not much. The difference is the addition of cream to the Pina Colada and the absence of cream in the Painkiller but added orange juice. The Painkiller also gets a nutmeg dusting.
How to Make a Painkiller
2 oz Pusser’s Navy Rum
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Cream of Coconut
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a dash, or three, of nutmeg.
This is a good drink for people who like tropical cocktails, but don’t want to order a Pina Colada because it is passe. It isn’t thick and creamy, so you won’t feel bloated after a couple, and they have lots of juice so they might appeal to the healthy people. The coconut cream plays a background role that is appealing and the orange juice stands out more than I thought it would, it tempers the pineapple juice. The one thing that is mandatory in this drink is nutmeg, without it, it would be just another mixed juice and rum drink. The nutmeg gives it that something extra.
As for the rum, the Pussers makes this drink really smooth and gives it some rum character. Using a rum that is too smooth might make it disappear completely, but because Pusser’s Navy Rum has a lot of flavours it comes through. This drink could easily handle 3oz of rum, without being overpowering.
If you like the idea of a Painkiller, you’ll probably like the Goombay Smash as well.
Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.