I’m not a jealous guy. But when I saw my buddy, Lee, post a photo of himself and his family sipping Painkillers at my all-time favorite beach bar, the Soggy Dollar on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, I have to admit, I wasn’t happy.
I mean, when I heard he was going to vacation in St. Thomas, I was the one who told him to go there. But seeing them sipping Painkillers on that amazing white sand was just too much to handle.
The Painkiller is one of the tastiest rum drinks you can make, and one that certainly brings you back to the Caribbean. And it was invented at the Soggy Dollar. Located on White Bay, a stretch of the whitest most beautiful sand in the Caribbean, surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters, there is no dock. You have to anchor your boat offshore and swim…hence the name: the Soggy Dollar.
Daphne Henderson was the owner of the Soggy Dollar years ago, and she is credited for inventing the Painkiller, which used Pusser’s rum, a British rum that is readily available here in the United States. Charles Tobias, a businessman that received permission from the British Royal Navy to commercialize Pusser’s rum in 1980, tasted the Painkiller and realized the potential of this amazing drink. He took some Painkillers home to the island of Tortola, where he experimented in recreating that drink, coming up with what he thought was something that was as good as—if not better than—the original. He called it the Pusser’s Painkiller.
Tobias never found out what Daphne Henderson’s original recipe was, but when he brought his own Pusser’s Painkillers back to the Soggy Dollar, and had a tasting battle between the two recipes, his recipe apparently won 10 out of 10 times. With 4 Pusser’s bars and restaurants in the Caribbean and 2 more in the states, Tobias quickly made the Pusser’s Painkiller the signature drink of these now-famous establishments…and perhaps the most popular drink among the sailing community in the US, Caribbean and West Indies.
The drink itself is simple…
4 parts pineapple juice
1 part cream of coconut
1 part orange juice
Combine these 3 ingredients, with lots of fresh grated nutmeg in a glass with ice. How much Pusser’s rum you use depends on how hammered you want to get! A Pusser’s #2 uses 2 parts rum…a Pusser’s #3 uses 3 parts rum…and a Pusser’s #4 uses 4 parts rum!
I’ve had several Pusser’s #4’s back in the day when there was a Pusser’s bar on the island of St John in the USVI many years ago. I’ve also sampled them in the BVI at the 2 Pusser’s locations on Tortola. But I still prefer going back to Jost Van Dyke and knocking back a few at the place where the Painkiller was born, the greatest beach bar on planet Earth: the Soggy Dollar Bar.
I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to go back. But my bathing suit is already packed. Me, below, in happier days…
And now I hear my buddy, Rick, is on his way to the Soggy Dollar, sailing from Tortola. I think I’ll avoid Facebook for a few days.