How to Make a Painkiller Cocktail

We may or may not have dialed back the juice and increased the rum.

Though Pusser’s Rum trademarked the recipe in the early 1980s, the classic Painkiller formula was actually created in 1971 by Daphne Henderson, the owner of a tiny, six-seat swim-up bar called the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands.

Henderson kept the exact recipe for her sweet concoction a secret, but Pusser’s founder Charles Tobias (who begged Henderson for the recipe to no avail) was able to successfully deconstruct the drink. In fact, the bar’s patrons supposedly preferred his less sweet, so-called “superior” version.

We like our Painkillers even boozier than Tobias’ take, so we dialed back the juice and increased the rum. For us, it’s the seriously superior Painkiller.




  • 2.5 oz Dark Rum
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Cream of Coconut
  • Nutmeg
  • Pineapple and Orange


Step one

Add all of the ingredients except for the nutmeg into a cocktail shaker with ice and vigorously shake to thoroughly incorporate the coconut cream.

Step two

Strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

Step three

Garnish with a slice of pineapple and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Mix It Up!

For a sweeter, fruity Painkiller, use the official Pusser’s recipe of 4 ounces of pineapple juice and 2 ounces of rum. Pusser’s has trademarked their recipe and have been known to sue bars that opt to use a different dark rum. But as long as you aren’t going to sell your Painkillers for profit, go ahead and try a different bottling like Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum—we won’t tell if you won’t.