Though Pusser’s Rum trademarked the recipe in the early 1980s, the classic Painkiller formula was actually created in 1971 by Daphne Henderson, the owner of a tiny, six-seat swim-up bar called the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands. Henderson kept the exact recipe for her sweet concoction a secret, but Pusser’s founder Charles Tobias (who begged Henderson for the recipe to no avail) was able to successfully deconstruct the drink. In fact, the bar’s patrons supposedly preferred his less sweet, so-called “superior” version. We like our Painkillers even drier than Tobias’s take, so we dialed back the juice and increased the rum. For us, it’s the seriously superior Painkiller.
Mix it Up
For a sweeter, fruity Painkiller, use the official Pusser’s recipe of 4 oz of pineapple juice and 2 oz of rum. Pusser’s has trademarked their recipe and have been known to sue bars that opt to use a different dark rum. But as long as you aren’t going to sell your Painkillers for profit, go ahead and try a different bottling like Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum—we won’t tell if you won’t.
Invented in the late 1950s at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Islamorada, Florida, the Rum Runner was named in honor of the heroic "rum-runners" who brought illegal liquor into the U.S. It has since become a tiki stalwart, with its mix of both light and dark rums along with fruit juices and liqueurs. While this recipe uses equal amounts of each ingred...