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The Painkiller and Other Famous BVI Cocktail Recipes

By: Nick Cunha | Last Updated: October 6, 2017

The BVI is a beautiful place to vacation, with an incredible local culture, breathtakingly blue waters, and notoriously strong rum drinks. People flock to the British Virgin Islands for a number of tourism reasons from BVI yacht charters, SCUBA diving and snorkelling in the coral reefs to hiking over the beautiful forests. However, perhaps more than anything else people come for the rum. The bars of the BVI have become the stuff of legends, and so too have their signature drinks. If you’ve been dreaming of a vacation to the BVI and want to start practicing early, you can make their famous rum cocktails at home with rum, ice, and an iPod loaded with island music.

The Painkiller

Shaneek from there Soggy Dollar at Jost van Dyke finishes her Painkiller with a sprinkling of fresh local nutmeg.

Perhaps the most famous drink in the entire BVI, the Painkiller has been known to take out veterans, in part because they are so delicious it’s hard to stop drinking them. This famous cocktail originated in The Soggy Dollar, which is host to a sign that reads “Zero To Naked in 3.2 Painkillers”. The venue has seen so much success in bar tourism based on this drink alone that other venues have begun to copy it. We’ve got the recipe and you can make one at home.

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz Cream de Coconut
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • Fresh Nutmeg

All drinks in the Caribbean are hand-poured and often liberally with more rum than mix, so the proportions of your Painkiller are up to you. Half-fill your cup with ice then pour the liquid ingredients together. Grind a little nutmeg over the top to complete the experience, as it is not considered optional.

The Bushwacker (All Booze)

Watching the sunset and enjoying a Bushwacker at Bananakeet Cafe, BVI

While the fruity drinks are always a hit, some people strongly prefer something smooth and creamy. If you like your chocolate drinks with a kick, then the second most famous BVI cocktail is your milkshake. They’ve been compared to White Russians and Mudslides, and can resemble both as the recipe varies from bar to bar. This gives you the freedom to experiment to taste, whether you like it stronger, creamier, or with more chocolate, every Bushwacker is different. Here’s a great starting place:

  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Baileys
  • 1 oz Cream de Coconut
  • 1 oz Cream de Cocao
  • 1 oz Amaretto

How you choose to blend the Bushwacker also varies by place. Many places blend it with ice to make a creamy smoothie type experience, which is absolutely delicious. If you want to enhance the rich, creamy flavor, you can serve it like a float with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead or along with ice cubes. How you want to Bush-whack is your choice.

Rum Punch

Rum Punches made up for a special BVI Bartender Competition sponsored by Brugal Rum

Even more specialized by location than the Bushwacker, every bar in the Carribean has it’s own recipe for Rum Punch. The term really just means an overpoweringly alcoholic mix of fruit juices and rum based on the tastes of the bartender. As long as the drink turns out red and tastes good with a slice of pineapple, you’re probably within the rules. To get started, let’s gather a collection of the traditional ingredients.

  • Dark Rum
  • Grenadine
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Passion Fruit Juice
  • Mango Juice

Mix your favorite combination of the above ingredients and make sure to pour the rum liberally. Rum Punch is a fast mix and is traditionally served over ice rather than blended. For a delicious extra touch, pour in a few floaters of a second kind of dark rum.

These mixes are great because you can make them anywhere, with or without a blender. Whether you’re dreaming of your first trip to to the Caribbean or warming up for your fifteenth, you can bring all the joy of famous BVI Cocktails to your home, boat, BVI Bar Crawl, or on your next BVI beach tour

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