Caribbean Rum Cocktail Recipe

Sail into summer with an island specialty

Caribbean imbibing: Are there two words in the English language more perfect to string together?

All throughout the turquoise-hued paradise that lives south of the United States, there's a long-standing tradition of maritime bars serving tropical rum drinks to thirsty sailors. In the British Virgin Islands, there's a magical place called Soggy Dollar Bar, named for the state of your dollars upon arriving (as you get to it only by swimming from a boat). Sometime back in the 1970s, an artistic bartender decided to put coconut cream and nutmeg into a rum drink—and the Painkiller was born. Today it is still (in?)famous among sailors, swimmers and salty sea dogs alike.

For those of us who may find swimming to the Soggy Dollar a tad inconvenient, making a Painkiller is a fair substitute (tuning in to its live webcam via your work desktop doesn't hurt either). You could get fancy with the drink and serve it in a curvy tropical glass, but I stick to the only way it's ever been given to me: in a plastic cup. Also, adding a pinch of salt is key, because the best way to drink one of these babies is standing waist-deep in the ocean with the waves splashing just enough to salt your drink.

Bottoms up, matey.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

The Painkiller
5 from 56 ratings
For those of us unable to embark on an island getaway, making a tropical drink with rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut, is a close substitution. 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ¾ ounce pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce Coco López cream of coconut
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  1. In a shaker, combine all the liquids and the salt. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the drink into an ice-filled cup; top with the nutmeg and serve.
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