Concoct a Painkiller for what ails you

Brian Rung

    Membership has its privileges, and once upon a time sailors in both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy were the recipients of a daily rum ration.
    The United States Navy began the daily rum ration in 1794 and continued the tradition until 1862, eventually going completely “dry” at sea in 1914 under General Order #99.  
    Across the pond, the Royal Navy kept the daily rum ration in place until 1970. By that time naval ships and weaponry were becoming more technologically advanced and perhaps it wasn't the best idea to feed the sailors rum for lunch every day at sea.
    By the way, the Royal New Zealand Navy kept the dream alive for 20 more years, officially ending the rum ration on the final day of February of 1990.
    If you have researched rum online, or if you take the occasional stroll down the rum aisle at your local spirits retailer, you have probably come across Pusser's British Navy Rum.
    British Navy rum? Wait a minute, is this clever marketing? Or is this the actual rum recipe used in the daily Royal Navy rum ration?
    As it turns out, Pusser's is the real deal. The original Admiralty recipe is a delicious blend of five West Indian rums, without coloring.
    The name “Pusser” is slang for a purser, or a supply/logistics officer. Items supplied by the Royal Navy, including rum, were known as “pusser's issued” items. So, the terms purser and pusser are used interchangeably when referring to a ship's supply officer.
    Proceeds from the sale of Pusser's Rum have benefited the Royal Navy Sailors Fund since the brand launched in 1970's. The ongoing charitable contributions are part of an agreement that began when the Admiralty granted Pusser's the right to produce original specification Navy rum.
    The Royal Navy has a signature rum, and that rum has a signature cocktail.  The Pusser's Rum signature cocktail is the Painkiller, also known as Pusser's Painkiller.
    The Painkiller is on a short list of trademarked cocktails meaning that the company, Pusser's Rum Ltd, holds the rights to the cocktail.
    Legally speaking, Pusser's Rum must be used if the Painkiller is on the menu at your establishment. If you don't use Pusser's, it's not a Painkiller.
    Both the rum and the cocktail are rich in sailing history, but you can't drink stories. Bottom line, is the drink delicious?
    As a matter of fact, it is. As is the case with many tropical drinks it could be a little too delicious given the high rum content.
    The Painkiller has become a tiki staple and can be made with either two, three or four ounces of rum. Four ounces may be a bit heavy, that's your call, but the official recipe states that the Painkiller must contain at least two ounces of Pusser's Rum.
    Aside from a delicious rum base, the cocktail uses a mix of tried and true tiki ingredients: cream of coconut, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grated nutmeg.
    If you are new tiki cocktails, you must get acquainted with cream of coconut.  This essential cocktail ingredient is the key to several tropical drinks, including the Pina Colada.
    There is one name that you need to know when shopping for cream of coconut, and that's Coco Lopez. Avoid the stuff in the white squeeze bottle, you owe it to yourself, your guests, and the cocktail to use original Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut.
    Fresh squeezed juice is always best for cocktail applications, but in the interest of prep time and convenience I use Dole unsweetened pineapple juice (buy the six ounce cans) and Tropicana orange juice. Make sure that both are 100 percent juice, not from concentrate.  
    Grated nutmeg is also a tiki staple and is used in many Caribbean rum punches. Fresh grated is best, but I keep the small bottle of McCormick ground nutmeg in my bar and it does the trick.
    The Painkiller is built in a shaker and traditionally served in large, goblet-styled glassware.
    Fill shaker with ice.
    Add 2 oz Pusser's Rum.
    Add 4 oz pineapple juice.
    Add 1 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut.
    Add 1 oz orange juice.
    Shake and strain into ice-filled glass.
    Garnish with grated nutmeg.
    Until next week, enjoy responsibly.