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How to Make the Painkiller

When it comes to refreshing and flavorful cocktails, few drinks can match the charm and soothing effect of the Painkiller cocktail. Originating from the British Virgin Islands, this tropical delight combines the richness of coconut, the tanginess of citrus, and the warmth of rum.


The Painkiller cocktail’s story begins in the early 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, a small island in the British Virgin Islands. This iconic beachfront bar, accessible only by boat and famous for its white sandy beach, provided the perfect setting for the birth of a new cocktail.

It was Charles Tobias, a founder of the British Virgin Islands’ Pusser’s Rum brand, who is credited with creating the Painkiller cocktail. Inspired by the Pusser’s Rum Grog recipe historically enjoyed by British Navy sailors, Tobias aimed to craft a refreshing and palatable drink that would showcase the distinct flavor of his rum while capturing the essence of the Caribbean.

Initially, the Painkiller cocktail was a local secret, passed down through the island’s visitors and residents. However, its fame soon began to spread as travelers returned home with tales of the delicious concoction. The Soggy Dollar Bar’s reputation as the birthplace of the Painkiller only added to its allure.

In 1989, Daphne Henderson, the owner of the Soggy Dollar Bar, trademarked the Painkiller cocktail name, solidifying its connection to the establishment. This trademark sparked some controversy and legal disputes, but it also reinforced the cocktail’s status as a unique creation.


Where to find ingredients for the Painkiller

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or Drizly (Get $5 Off Your Order of $20+ using code ALUSHLIFE5) in the USA!

Shopping List for Ingredients

Shopping for the ingredients to make a Painkiller cocktail is an exciting step toward crafting this delightful tropical drink. Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to purchase:

1. Rum: Opt for dark or gold rum for a rich and slightly sweet flavor. Look for reputable brands like Pusser’s Rum, which has historical ties to the Painkiller cocktail.

2. Pineapple Juice: You can choose between freshly squeezed pineapple juice or store-bought options. Freshly squeezed juice will offer a more vibrant and authentic flavor.

3. Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice is preferred, but you can also use high-quality store-bought orange juice for convenience.

4. Cream of Coconut: Ensure you have a can of cream of coconut. This ingredient adds creaminess and sweetness to the cocktail. Popular brands include Coco Lopez and Goya.

5. Fresh Nutmeg: For garnishing, you’ll need a whole nutmeg. You’ll grate a small amount over the finished cocktail for a delightful aroma and flavor.

6. Crushed Ice: Depending on your preference, you can buy a bag of crushed ice from your local store or use an ice crusher at home.

7. Pineapple Wedge or Cherry: These are optional garnishes that add visual appeal to your Painkiller cocktail. You can purchase fresh pineapple wedges or maraschino cherries for this purpose.

8. Optional Extras: If you’d like to experiment with variations, consider adding a splash of orange liqueur like triple sec or a hint of spice with a dash of ground cinnamon.

What tools you need to make Painkiller cocktail

You’ll need a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a strainer, and highball glass for this Painkiller recipe. Here’s a list of the equipment you’ll need:

1. Cocktail Shaker: A cocktail shaker is essential for combining and chilling the ingredients thoroughly. There are different types of shakers, including the classic three-piece shaker and the Boston shaker (two mixing tins), so choose the one you’re most comfortable with.

2. Jigger: A jigger is a measuring tool used to accurately pour the right amounts of each ingredient. Look for a jigger with multiple measurement lines for versatility.

3. Mixing Spoon: A long-handled mixing spoon is used for gently stirring the ingredients in the shaker. This helps combine the flavors without over-agitating the mixture.

4. Highball Glass: A highball glass is the traditional serving vessel for the Painkiller cocktail. It’s a tall glass with a wide mouth that allows for easy sipping and garnishing.

5. Fine Grater or Nutmeg Grinder: A fine grater or nutmeg grinder is used to grate fresh nutmeg over the finished cocktail as a garnish. This step adds a lovely aroma and flavor to the drink.

6. Ice Crusher or Crushed Ice: To create that classic Painkiller texture, you’ll need crushed ice. You can use an ice crusher if you have one, or you can buy bags of crushed ice from the store.

7. Optional: Muddler and Strainer: A muddler is a handy tool for gently crushing ingredients like mint leaves or fruit. While not necessary for the Painkiller cocktail, you might find it useful for certain variations. Additionally, a strainer can help prevent any ice chips or unwanted residue from ending up in your glass when pouring.

8. Cutting Board and Knife: If you choose to garnish your cocktail with a pineapple wedge or cherry, you’ll need a cutting board and a knife to prepare these garnishes.

Shopping Tips:

  • When selecting a cocktail shaker, choose one made of durable materials (like stainless steel) for longevity and ease of cleaning.
  • Make sure your jigger has clear measurement markings to ensure accurate pouring.
  • A long-handled mixing spoon with a twisted handle is ideal for stirring cocktails in taller shakers and glasses.
  • Look for highball glasses that are sturdy and have a capacity of around 10 to 12 ounces for the perfect serving size.

With this equipment at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create a Painkiller cocktail that not only tastes incredible but also looks and feels like a true tropical indulgence.



Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients Gather all your ingredients and ensure they are at the appropriate temperature. Freshly squeezed orange juice is recommended for the best flavor, but store-bought juice works as well. Make sure your cream of coconut is well-mixed before using it in the cocktail.

Step 2: Ice It Up Fill your highball glass with crushed ice. This not only chills your cocktail but also creates a refreshing and satisfying texture as you sip.

Step 3: Measure and Add the Rum Using your jigger, measure 2 ounces of rum and pour it into the cocktail shaker. The type of rum you choose will influence the flavor profile of your Painkiller cocktail. Dark or gold rum tends to work best due to its richer and slightly sweet character.

Step 4: Introduce the Pineapple and Orange Juices Measure 4 ounces of pineapple juice and 1 ounce of orange juice. Add these juices to the cocktail shaker, joining forces with the rum to create the tropical foundation of the cocktail.

Step 5: Infuse Creaminess The cream of coconut adds a luxurious and creamy texture to the Painkiller cocktail. Measure 1 ounce of cream of coconut and add it to the shaker. This ingredient not only enhances the mouthfeel but also balances the tanginess of the citrus juices.

Step 6: Shake It Up Place the lid on the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. The shaking process combines all the ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Step 7: Strain and Pour Carefully remove the lid from the shaker and strain the cocktail into the prepared highball glass filled with crushed ice. The straining process ensures that any ice chips or unwanted residue are left behind in the shaker.

Step 8: Garnish No Painkiller cocktail is complete without its signature garnishes. Grate a dash of fresh nutmeg over the top of the cocktail using a fine grater. This adds a delightful aroma and a touch of spice to each sip. Optionally, you can add a pineapple wedge or cherry to the rim of the glass for an extra touch of visual appeal.

Step 9: Sip and Enjoy With your Painkiller cocktail expertly crafted, take a moment to admire its tropical beauty before raising it to your lips. The combination of rum, coconut, and citrus will transport your taste buds to an exotic paradise, offering relaxation and enjoyment in every sip.

Where to find more rum recipes

Here is the recipe!

Yield: 1


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

When it comes to refreshing and flavorful cocktails, few drinks can match the charm and soothing effect of the Painkiller cocktail. Originating from the British Virgin Islands, this tropical delight combines the richness of coconut, the tanginess of citrus, and the warmth of rum.


  • 2 oz rum (preferably dark or gold)
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz cream of coconut
  • Crushed ice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (for garnish)
  • Pineapple wedge or cherry (for garnish)


  1. Add the rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and cream of coconut to a shaker
  2. Add ice
  3. Shake, shake, shake
  4. Strain in all into a highball glass filled with crushed ice
  5. Grate a dash of fresh nutmeg over the top of the cocktail using a fine grater.
  6. Garnish with a pineapple wedge

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 756Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 11gSugar: 56gProtein: 5g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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