How to Make a Painkiller Drink

Published July 25, 2022
pineapple painkiller cocktail


  • 2 ounces Pusser's rum
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge and grated nutmeg for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and orange juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into hurricane glass or cocktail glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge and grated nutmeg.

Variations and Substitutions for Painkiller Drink Ingredients

Don't be intimidated by how to make a painkiller drink; it's a pretty easy and forgiving drink with ingredients begging for experimentation and play.

  • If you can't find Pusser's rum, go back to the painkiller's roots and use Cruzan rum. Otherwise, a Navy, overproof, or dark rum can always be the drink's base.
  • Use equal parts orange juice and pineapple juice.
  • Up the coconut flavor by adding a little extra cream of coconut, a half ounce of coconut milk, or even a splash of coconut rum. Alternatively, if you're not a big coconut fan, go ahead and use just half an ounce.
  • Experiment with rums in combination: a light rum with dark rum, but take care not to exceed two ounces total.

Pankiller Drink Garnishes

A pineapple wedge with grated nutmeg is the most traditional garnish for the painkiller. The nutmeg adds an aromatic touch to the drink that's unbeatable.

  • Add an orange slice, wedge, or wheel. You can also use a different citrus, such as lemon or lime.
  • Citrus zest makes an excellent, colorful touch. Any citrus will do; sprinkle a little on top in combination with the grated nutmeg or on its own.
  • A pineapple leaf ups the tropical factor -- add it to the traditional garnish or with other garnishes, too.
  • Sprinkle grated coconut onto the drink on its own or with a pineapple wedge.

A Look at the Painkiller Drink

Unlike the Moscow mule, the painkiller drink's ingredients didn't result from a need to use up supply, but Pusser's rum did go on to trademark the name and recipe nearly a decade after the its inception. The first painkiller slid across a bar in the British Virgin Islands back in the 1970s, a creation by Daphne Henderson...or maybe George Myrick...possibly Mari Myrick. History is a bit murky on the finer details, much like a night with too many painkiller cocktails. The original recipe didn't use Pusser's; the bartenders used Cruzan Rum, a distillery found in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Tropical Drink to Soothe the Soul

The painkiller is an excellent swap when you're tired of your blue lagoons or want something a bit bolder than your usual piña colada. While mysterious and relatively under the radar, the ingredients for a painkiller are no more complicated than any other rum cocktail. Now that's a bit of homemade medicine.

How to Make a Painkiller Drink