Dream Of Paradise With A Pusser’s Painkiller

Pussers - Painkiller

If cocktails could talk, this one would entertain you. The Painkiller, a classic Pusser’s Rum drink made using four key ingredients (that’s Pusser’s Rum, cream of coconut, orange and pineapple juice, for those who don’t know) served over the rocks and garnished with fresh ground nutmeg, has a rich history dating back to the ‘70s.

First concocted at the six-seat Soggy Dollar Bar, on the island of Jost Van Dyke, the Painkiller is a rich and fruity drink with tropical roots. Interpreted literally, you’d be forgiven for thinking this drink is a hangover remedy, but in fact the Painkiller started out life on a long stretch of white sandy beach deep in the heart of the British Virgin Islands. There was no dock, so the usual way in was to swim, with your dollars in your pocket. Naturally they got wet – hence the name: Soggy Dollar Bar.

The bar’s owner Daphne Henderson was famed by boaters who’d come from all around to sample her tasty Pusser’s Painkiller, one of whom was Pusser’s founder Charles Tobias. He became obsessed with trying to obtain the recipe for this delicious drink having already been granted permission to commercialise the rum, in 1980. Ironically, the two became good friends, but he still wanted the formula to Henderson’s Painkiller.

Survival of the fittest

Two years later, following several Painkillers, Tobias succeeded in getting one of her concoctions into his kitchen on Tortola. He matched her flavour as closely as possible with his own recipe; a “4-1-1″ ratio – four parts pineapple, one part cream of coconut and one part orange juice – adding Pusser’s Rum to suit.

Tobias brought his recipe to the Soggy Dollar bar to compare it to Henderson’s.  Although his was slightly different, he insisted the new version was better. Naturally, Henderson disagreed.

The two put a $100 wager on whose concoction was tastier and asked all of the Soggy Dollar’s regulars to judge. Tobias ordered two rounds: one that Daphne made, and one that he made to his recipe. They marked the cups and proceeded to test. Tobias’s recipe won 10 out of 10 taste-tests. He used the $100 winnings to buy everyone Painkillers at the bar.

Tobias then went on to promote and feature the Painkiller in several sizes in all his restaurants and pubs but made sure to give Daphne Henderson a credit as the creator of the original Painkiller.

Today it’s much easier to enjoy this refreshing cocktail. You just need four ingredients and lots of ice.

You can even keep your dollars dry.


·         35ml Pusser’s 40%ABV Rum (or 54.5% ABV)

·         25ml Coco Re’al Cream of Coconut (available from Fortnum and


·         25ml  Orange Juice

·         100ml Pineapple Juice


1.       Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice.

2.       Garnish with further 15ml of Pusser’s 54.5%abv rum and fresh ground nutmeg

Pusser’s Rum Proudly Sponsors The Beach At Camden’s Roundhouse


The UK’s original navy rum, Pusser’s, has partnered with the Roundhouse this summer to launch the long-awaited return of Camden Beach, a 900 sq metre terrace filled with 150 tonnes of the finest sand, end-of-the-pier amusements, pop-up food stalls, beach huts, ping-pong, live music and a showcase of summer drinks brands. The partnership between the historic venue and rum makers Pusser’s, sees the brand sponsoring one of the iconic beach huts, creating a ‘Rum Shack’ with full branding and bar presence.

Proceedings kick off on 24th July with a VIP launch party, followed by a nod to the brand’s naval roots with celebrations to mark Black Tot Day on 31st July. Pusser’s will be holding masterclasses with Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, rum tastings throughout, and serving Grog cocktails inspired by the old navy tale of Admiral Vernon, who was known as The Grog.

During the summer, the famous Pusser’s cocktail, The Painkiller, will also be served which will feature Coco Re’al – also distributed by Cellar Trends.

This is the second year that Pusser’s has been involved with Camden Beach and Peter Thornton, Brand Manager at Pusser’s, comments: “It is a very cool event, bringing something different and unique to London. On 31 July we will be inviting some navy guys along for Black Tot Day celebrations to share their sea-faring tales with the Camden crowd to help spread the word about this important day and the Navy Tot Fund. Throughout the summer, there’s a great atmosphere and backdrop and it provides an excellent opportunity for us to reach new consumers with both Pusser’s Rum and Coco Re’al.”

Join the Pusser’s team and sample the legendary rum on the 31st July 2014 at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH.

Celebrate Black Tot Day With Pusser’s Rum Grog

Pusser's - Pusser's Grog

31st July sees Pusser’s Rum celebrate the historic Black Tot Day at The Beach in Camden’s Roundhouse. In honour of the event, navy seadogs and patrons alike can experience the classic naval cocktail, the Grog, with a special Pusser’s twist.

How to make the ultimate Pusser’s Grog:

1) Pour 2oz of Pusser’s rum into glass full of ice
2) Add 1 teaspoon of unrefined dark cane sugar
3) Squeeze half a lime into the glass and stir
4) Garnish with another wedge and serve

When rum became the substitute for beer and wine within the Navy, the Admiralty noticed that sailors were becoming too drunk from their daily ration. However, in 1740, Vice Admiral Vernon ordered that the rum ration be watered down; men did not take this decision lightly and renamed the daily tot as ‘Grog’; a dismissive nod to the grogram cloak Vernon wore. Throughout the years, this drink has been modified to suit a sweeter tooth, hence the adding of sugar and lime.

Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell, explains, “the Grog is such a key rum cocktail, its history and heritage make it really important in the rum scene. When I was younger, I used to drink sugar, water and lime, and sometimes I would add rum – not even realising I was making a Grog. It’s such an easy and simple drink to make, but tastes great.”

Join the Pusser’s team and sample this classic cocktail on the 31st July 2014 at The Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH.



Everyone loves something classic. Classic films, classic cars, classic music. But what about classic drink? Yes there’s the classic cocktails like Martini or Manhattan, but what about those brands that make those cocktails become a mainstay? Or maybe those brands that have earned the right to be called classic? Say, for example, Pusser’s?

Pusser’s comes under this category for two reasons. Number one is for its quality, and number two for its history.

Between the mid 17th and 19th centuries, the sailors of the Royal Navy were granted a daily ration of rum by the ship’s Purser. The term Purser gradually changed its name until it became the more recognisable Pusser. Before 1740, the daily ration included an entire pint of rum which was consumed neat and before a battle, a double rum ration was issued. Only on July 31st 1970 did this tradition end after the Admiralty Board deemed it unsuitable.

The brand that we see behind the bars today was founded by Charles Tobias, a sailor and businessman. Tobias resurrected Pusser’s rum in 1979, using the original blending recipe which he had been given by the Admiralty. Today, the blend is the same as it was on British warships, using five West Indian rums (three from Guyana, two from Trinidad) aged for at least 3 years and contains mostly pot-still rum, all within Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. To add extra intrigue, the pot-still is made of wood, the definition of real navy rum.

George Freegard - International Brand Manager
George Freegard – International Brand Manager

Overseeing the development of Pusser’s around the world is a gentleman named George Freegard. Responsible for overseeing production and procurement and International sales outside of the US since 2012, I had the chance to enjoy the range of Pusser’s available here in the UK a couple of weeks back. A genuine rum lover, George gave great insight into the work that Charles Tobias has done, as well as his own achievements since working his first stint on the brand back in 1994 in the British Virgin Islands.

So how does this all natural rum fair? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on their range, served up by George himself –

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof – 54.5%

Originally named Pusser’s Old Blue. Rich vanilla nose with a slight toffee that lightens off with a hint of sweetness. A heavy burn on the palate to begin with but a mellow warmth develops with a sweet vanilla flavour.

Pusser’s New Blue – 40%

Released in 2014. Soft vanilla nose with hints of toffee and an underlying sweetness. A slight burn on the palate, but warms up after a few seconds, offering a sweet vanilla flavour that lingers.

Pusser’s Spice – 35%

Dry spice with a light kick of cinnamon on the nose. Very smooth on the palate, with dry spice, plenty of wood and a lingering ginger flavour to finish.

Pusser’s Navy Rum 15yr – 40%

Rich toffee nose with plenty of buttery aromas coming through. A rich, developing palate with a kick of sugar. Plenty of toffee notes create a lingering yet dry finish.

It’s always great to find a classic recipe too –


The Pusser’s Painkiller

Glass –

Goblet / Mug

Ingredients –

50 ml Pusser’s Rum – or 75ml / 100ml depending on the severity of the pain!
100 ml pineapple juice
25 ml orange juice
25 ml cream of coconut

Method –

Fill a mug or goblet with ice and add the ingredients. To mix, pour once or twice back and forth into another glass. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy this most delightful of tropical drinks.

Always one to go down well in any bar! Or indeed your home for that matter! It truly is a cracking range,

Whatever your take is on navy rum, these are expressions to look out for. Friend or foe, neat or Painkiller, Pusser’s is sticking around for a good reason.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Liquorists Rum Trail 3 Review

Last night was the beginning of something which is now familiar within the Manchester bar and restaurant scene, so familiar in fact that it’s now accustomed to hear the words “so how many have you been on?” when meeting like-minded drinks enthusiasts for the first time. I am of course talking about The Liquorists and their spirit trails. I myself have seven trails to my name (six for your viewing pleasure are located under ‘The Liquorists header down the right-hand side), with The Liquorists bringing along their 3rd installment of the world of rum to add to the ever-growing list of categories explored. This time however, they’ve gone one better. Last night was the start of an unprecedated 6 bars compared to their usual gather of 5, with the sixth being described by Tom Sneesby as ‘something a little bit special’.

Tom, one of the founders of The Liquorists, had myself and eleven other food and drink fanatics meet at one of Manchester’s well-known Tiki bars, Hula. Located along Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter, this basement den of cocktails rum and good cheer, complete with beach huts, sand and a tropical fish tank started our night off with Plantation rum. Part of a collection of unique Caribbean treasures, every barrel is individually sampled and only those that show traditional characteristics of the area of production are selected for bottling. This soft rum is aged in oak barrels for a number of years before being transported to cellars in Cognac, France where they are finished in Cognac casks. This well-balanced result was perfect for our cocktail creation, Atlantic Boat Club Daiquiri, and the fruits of banana and toasted pineapple. Next on the agenda was the short trip to Keko Moku, Manchester’s original Tiki bar. Huddled around wooden barrels with El Dorado 12yr being handed out, fire was being produced for a customers rum fuelled cocktail which does beg the question of ‘how is this place still standing?’. All is soon forgotten though with the Sanguine Swizzle cocktail which involves the Guyana based El Dorado 12yr and Blood Orange housed in a jam jar. Blended from different vintages, the age statement of the El Dorado works the same way as whisky produced in Scotland – it indicates the youngest rum in the blend, even though the oldest may be many years older.

Speaking of age-statements, Odd Bar was our next port of call. Having been in the Manchester scene for seven years now, Odd gave us a surprising insight into how a non-cocktail venue achieves some good times when it comes to enjoying rum. The Dominican Republic based Matusalem was their rum of choice, with a tot of the Clasico 10yr being enjoyed by all as we sat around their corner booth. Mojito marinated chicken skewers were handed out to compliment next which can only be described as ‘Odd’. Having a tot of Matusalem Platino in one glass and Steerage ale by the brewery Titanic in the other, the idea was to take a sip of each one after another. A good idea, but one that seemed to divide the group in half! Going from old to new next with Tusk being our home for a splash of Wrey and Nephew. This relatively new bar is next door to the equally sharp Walrus, and houses comfy leather sofas, fish tanks, and enough over-proof rum to floor a rhino . . . . or walrus. At 63% abv, water was on stand-by to ‘soften the blow’, as were truffles and homemade sticky toffee pudding. To counteract to a sweet-tooths delight, we were created a Hipster Daiquri that came with a lime infused salt rim a’la Margarita style!
With the rum flowing around the room, and with a slight tequila sense mixed in, we crossed the road to one of Northern Quarters newest bar and restaurant, The Blue Pig. This lively venue was enjoying its soft opening (with the launch night happening tonight) but you could easily mistake The Blue Pig for having been open for months. The bustle of the diners mingled with the bar patrons next to the Parisian influenced decor, as we ourselves sipped away at Apple Daiquiri’s using Brugal as its base. Alongside this Dominican Republic rum came a platter of homemade cheese, pickled pear, duck pate and pistachio meat with a jar of juniper and apple chutney on the side. However, no sooner had we enjoyed the flavours of the last sip, we were being whisked away to our last place on the tour – 22 Redbank.

Hipster Daiquiri in Tusk

This is The Liquorists HQ, the ‘something a little bit special’ that Tom had mentioned at the start of the night. To commemorate this, a bottle of the original navy strength Pussers rum was opened and poured for our taste-bud pleasures. At 54.5% abv it was one to make you stand up and listen! Navy style mugs were handed out too with the aptly named Painkiller being served side by side to a cocktail umbrella and Thai curry and satay to finish off. Lounging about in the HQ in comfy chairs and sofas was a fitting end to a night of various styles of both rums, bars and restaurants. I for one have never experienced The Blue Pig or Tusk since they have been open, but will be making my way back their post-haste. As for the rums, personal highlights were the El Dorado 12yr and Plantation, with Brugal closely following. Compared to their last rum trail, it was good to see and experience a new set of rum brands compared to ones that you can easily pick up from any pub or bar. That’s the beauty about The Liquorists and their trails – sauce sessions with a difference.

Check out the rest of last nights photos via my Facebook page.

For more information on The Liquorists and their spirit trails, check out their website and Facebook page.

Check out last nights fellow enthusiasts too – Manchester Bars, North West Nosh, Mancunian Matters, Old Fashioned Susie and Melanie Hughes.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.