The Painkiller Is The Perfect Late Summer Cocktail — Here’s The Recipe

Late summer 100% calls for a frothy and fruity tropical cocktail. The ups and downs of tiki cocktail culture over the last century aside, fruit-forward rummy cocktails are always refreshing on a hot day. You don’t have to follow a trend to enjoy them. They will endure from now to eternity. A great example of this is the 1970s take on the classic Piña Colada — the Painkiller.

This drink is elevated without being overly difficult to make. Sure, you need some fresh juices and a little elbow grease to shake it up, but it really isn’t that much harder than any other tropical shaker out there. The key that really elevates this drink and made it an instant classic when it was first shaken up at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands is nutmeg. The spice adds that x-factor that takes this from your standard tropical fruit bomb to something deeper and more refreshing.

Come on? You’ve already seen that image up above. You know you want to know how to make this drink. Let’s just dive in and get shaking!

Also Read: The Top Five Cocktail Recipes of the Last Six Months


Zach Johnston


  • 2 oz. dark Caribbean rum
  • 4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • Nutmeg
  • Pineapple wedge
  • Cocktail cherry
  • Ice

Technically, you’re supposed to use Pusser’s Rum for this one (and a tin mug if you want to go old school). Look, I love Pusser’s and its funky British Caribbean navy vibes. But you can really use any decent dark mixing rum from the Caribbean. I’m using Ron Del Barrilito 3 Star Rum. It has a nice spicy balance and a hint of caramel funkiness that works really well in creamy fruity cocktails like this. It’s basically made for these drinks.

One thing that you do need to use is bar-grade cream of coconut like REAL Coco Cream Of Coconut. It’s sweetened already and provides the right texture. It’s also why this drink doesn’t call for simple syrup. Between the cream of coconut and the fruit juices, there’s plenty of sweetness to go around.

The rest of the ingredients are all easily findable at any grocery store.

Zach Johnston

What You’ll Need:

  • Hurricane glass or large tin mug
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Cocktail strainer
  • Pairing knife
  • Juicer
  • Jigger
Zach Johnston


  • Add the rum, juices, and coconut to a cocktail shaker with a large handful of ice. Affix the lid and shake vigorously for about 20 to 30 seconds until the shaker is ice cold and the drink is nice and frothy. There’s a lot of liquid in the shaker with this one, so start slowly and build up speed.
  • Fill the glass with fresh ice — about 3/4 full. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Dash nutmeg over the top of the drink and garnish with a pineapple wedge and cherry. Serve.

Bottom Line:

Zach Johnston

I mean, this is obviously delicious. It’s sweet, yes, but the acids from the fruit juices really balance that sweetness well.

The best part really is that nutmeg. At first, it’s simply providing a nose element that primes your palate for the incoming tropical treat. Then as you drink the cocktail, the nutmeg starts to integrate into the actual liquid, making it really bright yet deeper. It’s not spicy but more nutty and raisin-esque. It adds a wonderful complexity to the drink.

This is such a crushable drink. Don’t be surprised if you’re shaking up another one almost right away.