Serious Eats: Recipes
Time for a Drink: (Not Exactly A) Painkiller
I'm all for being the kind of renaissance person who dabbles in a number of different fields and professions and who mashes together concepts like "laundromat" and "bar", but sometimes there needs to be boundaries.
As I mentioned on Wednesday, last week we saw what can happen when the tiki bar—which by all reckoning should be the kind of place where strict rules are viewed with some skepticism—encounters the rigid realm of trademark law. To recap the story: it ain't pretty.
But it's Friday, so to hell with it—let's mix a drink.
First things first: this is not a Painkiller. This may resemble that drink that originated some 40 years ago at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, but the Painkiller was adopted as the mascot drink by Pusser's Rum around a decade after its birth (the drink's birth, that is—Pusser's didn't appear in bars or liquor stores as a brand until the Painkiller had already collected a few notches in its swizzle stick, one for every circuit around the sun). So much did Pusser's founder love—or something—the mixture, the company trademarked the drink as Pusser's Painkiller.
Nowadays, play loose with that drink's name and/or formulation, and you'll have Pusser's attorneys nosing around, as the owners of the New York bar PKNY (formerly known as Painkiller) have discovered. (And before you lawyer types start wrangling in the comments again over what can and can't be trademarked and all the nuances in trademark law, remember—this is Friday. Mix-a-Drink time. Boundaries, as I said—put down your briefcase and pick up your tiki mug. Shhh.... Or, if you just can't let it go, head over here, where someone's dug into the legal aspects of this case much more than I can.)
So, once more: not a Painkiller—but pretty damn close. So close, in fact, that if you're one of those people who heard of the legal tussle between Pusser's and the New York tiki bar that's now likely using Pusser's rum only to scrub its toilets, and came away thinking, "That makes me want to buy Pusser's Rum to support the company"—apparently there's at least one of them in this world—you could easily make this recipe into a legit Painkiller. All you'd need to do is to swap out the two (good-to-excellent) rums I have listed here—which together produce a taste similar to that of Pusser's except slightly, oh, better —and substitute an equal measure of Pusser's.
Smith & Cross has a gaminess of flavor (and a higher proof) that works well; if you can't get it, try harder—and if that's not an option, substitute Appleton Estate Extra. Likewise for the Cruzan Single Barrel; if you don't have any on hand, go with something suitably mellow and aged, like Bacardi 8 or Mount Gay Eclipse. Really, use whatever rum you find works best in this—I promise: I won't sue.