HISTORY OF THE PAINKILLER
The Painkiller cocktail is similar to a Pina Colada, featuring tropical flavors of coconut and pineapple. The cocktail sets itself apart from its slightly flabby and over-sweet cousin with the addition of fresh orange juice, and the fragrant punch of fresh grated nutmeg.
The original Painkiller recipe was created in the 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands (pictured below). In 1989, Pusser’s Rum Ltd. filed a trademark for both the drink’s name and its formulation, functionally branding it as the brand’s signature cocktail. The company then went on to enforce this trademark against a bar in New York City, drawing the ire of bartenders.
Interestingly, this cocktail was originally made using Cruzan Rum from the nearby American Virgin Islands, which is light in body and character. Pusser’s, on the other hand, is a much heavier Guyanese-style rum with a great deal of body and a sweet, earthy flavor, reminiscent of the Demerara sugar from the river valley where it is produced.