It's looking like a rum kind of weekend. This week had us brushing up against the 90s in the Pacific Northwest, and parts of the East Coast are being soaked by a tropical-ish deluge. In case more reasons were needed to justify breaking out the tall glasses and tiki mugs, this week brought news that rum expert and former Forbidden Island co-owner Martin Cate plans to open a new rum-oriented bar, called Smuggler's Cove, in San Francisco in November—the location hasn't yet been announced, but there's already a line forming, somewhere.
To top it all, in last weekend's San Francisco Chronicle, Gary Regan featured a recipe for one of the more knee-shaking drinks in the cane spirits canon: the Painkiller. Created at a bar in the British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller takes its firepower from Pusser's rum—a dark, funky, rich-flavored rum that was once a staple of British naval rations. Pusser's can be an intimidating rum to try on its own. Fortunately the Painkiller softens the blow with pineapple, orange and coconut cream, making this a heartier and somewhat more muscular relative of the Pina Colada.
Yes, it's kinda fruity, and yes, you're venturing into umbrella-drink territory; but we're at the dawn of summer—it's okay to put on your flowered shirt and relax a little bit. A Painkiller can help you shake out whatever winter stiffness remains, and prepare you for the long, hot months ahead.
- 3 ounces Pusser’s Rum*
- 2 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 ounces Coco Lopez coconut cream
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice. Strain into a tall glass or—what the hell—a tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Dust the top with nutmeg, spear with a straw and garnish with a pineapple stick, an orange wheel, and/or a cinnamon stick.
Just can’t find Pusser’s, or don’t feel like buying it just for this drink? Well, if you must substitute, go with another rich, dark, heavy rum like Gosling’s, but keep in mind that it just won’t be quite the same thing.