Monday, July 2, 2012

When I Think About a Cocktail: It's the Painkiller and the Soggy Dollar

     There is something very special about a Painkiller, it's creamy, refreshing, and evokes all the pleasures of sitting on the beach at the Soggy Dollar Bar basking in the sun. This is a cocktail of distinction that was first created by Daphne Henderson at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI. At The Pusser's website, the story of the painkiller is revealed. 
     The infamous Pusser's Painkiller® had its start at the six-seat Soggy Dollar Bar on a long stretch of white sand beach at White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. There's no dock, so the usual way in is to swim. Of course, your dollars get wet - hence the name: Soggy Dollar Bar.
     When all this started, the bar with its four adjoining cottages was owned by an English lady, Daphne Henderson. Boaters, including Pusser's founder Charles Tobias, came from all around to sample her tasty Pusser's Painkiller® for which she'd become locally famous. The fact that Tobias had gone to Great Britain's Royal Navy and gotten permission to commercialize the rum in 1980 made him more curious about this deliciously concocted recipe made with Pusser's Rum.
     Daphne Henderson and Charles Tobias became good friends, but in spite of their friendship, and no matter how hard he tried, she refused to divulge her secret recipe for the Pusser's Painkiller®. Two years passed, then late one Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of a long session of Painkilling, Tobias somehow managed to get one of her concoctions back through the surf and over the gunwale into his boat, and ultimately into his kitchen on Tortola where he lives. There he went to work, trying to match her flavor as closely as possible with his own recipe which he finally worked out to be "4-1-1" ratio - four parts pineapple, one part cream of coconut and one part orange juice - adding Pusser's Rum to suit.
Today it is made to many different recipes, but this is the one that I use at the Rum Bar in Key West, one that has become very popular with the locals and visitors to our Island.

Rum Bar Key West Painkiller
  • 1 1/2 oz. Pusser's Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Cream of Coconut
  • 1 1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Orange Juice
Place all ingredients into a shaker and shake until chilled and pour into a pint glass and garnish with fresh ground nutmeg, an orange wheel, and a cherry. Serve with a smile and let the pleasure begin.

This is one of the all-time favorite cocktails of the Virgin Islands and all over Florida. Take the time to have one that is made properly and you will be "jonesing" for one all summer. Enjoy the guilty pleasure of the Painkiller.    ;o)