Top 10 Places to Drink a Painkiller in Charleston

Pusser's Painkiller®

The Painkiller Cocktail originated in the early 1970’s at the tiny, 8-seat Soggy Dollar Bar, at White Bay in the British Virgin Island. It was located on a long stretch of desolate, uninhabited white sandy beach, protected by a coral reef providing a cozy anchorage for visiting yachts. The Soggy Dollar was so named because there was no dock; you had to swim in to get to it. It was owned by Daphne Henderson, a delightful and witty, middle-aged English lady.

One Sunday, Charles Tobias, the Pusser’s founder, and resident on the nearby main island of Tortola where he was bottling Pusser’s Rum, paid a visit to Daphne and the Soggy Dollar as he was curious to see what she was doing with the prodigious amounts of Pusser’s Rum that she was regularly ordering. Tobias was duly impressed with the constant flow of patrons who would anchor and swim ashore just to imbibe her delightful cocktail creation “The Painkiller”!
Tobias and Daphne became good friends, and both agreed that the only rum that worked with the drink was Pusser’s because its full rich taste could punch through the scintillating mix of cream of coconut, pineapple, and orange juices of the Painkiller.

In time, Daphne promised to give Tobias her recipe, but always found an excuse to not do it, so he came up with his own recipe.... one morning after a visit to the Soggy Dollar, Tobias, carrying one of her Painkillers, swam to his boat and headed for his kitchen at home. After much experimentation late into the evening, he finally came up with his own version of the Painkiller recipe: 4-1-1 –four parts pineapple, one part fresh or frozen orange juice, and one part cream of coconut.

One afternoon, they compared the two at a competitive tasting which Daphne had arranged at the Soggy Dollar with eight patrons. Tobias’ recipe won by a score of 8 to 0! With Daphne’s blessing, so long as he credited her with the drink’s creation, he trademarked the drink – and began to promote it at every opportunity in the US and International markets.

From this modest beginning, the Pusser’s Painkiller can be found in almost every Classic and Tiki cocktail bar throughout the world, particularly those found in sailing and yachting communities in tropical climes. No other rum can punch through the Painkiller’s tropical ingredients as does the full, rich flavor of the award-winning Pusser’s Rum!

Charleston, SC is now the headquarters for Pusser's Rum and has become a hit spot for a Pusser's Painkiller®. With plenty of beaches, bars, and restaurants, there's a place for everyone to enjoy a Pusser's Painkiller®. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Acme Lowcountry Kitchen - Isle of Palms

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen is an upscale, yet casual traditional coastal cuisine with classic fare. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in a casual beach atmosphere with flavor profiles that exemplify fresh local ingredients and sustainable seafood. Also serving cocktails, like the Pusser's Painkiller®, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen has quickly become a beachside favorite.

2. The Crab House - Market Street, Shem Creek, James Island

The Charleston Crab House has been family owned and operated for over 27 years, with three locations to fit your casual seafood dining needs. 

3. Mex-1 Coastal Cantina - West Ashley, Sullivan's Island

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is inspired by surf trips down the Baja Peninsula cruising down the Mex 1 highway, veering off towards the ocean on a small dirt road and manifesting perfect surf in the cove it leads to. The entire experience is fueled by the light, fresh flavors of the Baja peninsula served up in the little cantinas that dot the coastline! Until your next big adventure, Mex-1 can provide you with the perfect little escape with a Pusser's Painkiller®.

4. Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar - Downtown Charleston

Fleet Landing is a traditional favorite for drinks and dinner, located in the heart of Historic Downtown Charleston. They specialize in traditional Lowcountry dishes, like Shrimp & Grits, She Crab Soup, and Crab Cakes. And what better place than Fleet Landing to pair your lunch or dinner with a Pusser's Painkiller®.

5. Salty Dog Cafe - Seabrook Island

The Salty Dog Cafe is prominently known for quality apparel that is made in-house, kid friendly activities, sunset cruises, and wonderful food. With one restaurant handling so many tasks, this restaurant is sure to give you that local at-home feel as soon as you walk in. With a beautiful view, The Salty Dog Cafe is a popular spot to enjoy a Pusser's Painkiller®.

6. Holy City Brewing - North Charleston

Holy City Brewing is a well-known local brewery and restaurant. With an outdoor bar sponsored by Pusser's Rum, stage for live entertainment, a beautiful lowcountry view, delicious food, and perfect blends, they're the up and coming spot to be in Charleston, SC! Head over to Holy City for a Pusser's Painkiller cocktail, frozen Pusser's Painkiller, or even a Pusser's Painkiller Beer!

7. Saltwater Cowboys - Shem Creek

Saltwater Cowboys is one of Shem Creek's finest restaurants. From local seafood, to BBQ, Pusser's Painkillers, and even frozen Pusser's Painkillers, SWC is sure to please any palate. Whether you visit for the delicious food and cocktails, the casual atmosphere, or some of Charleston's most scenic views, you're sure to leave craving more. 

8. Coconut Joe's - Isle of Palms

Coconut Joe's is an oceanfront restaurant serving food, families, and fun since 1997! Whether you stop in for brunch on the roof top, take a seat at the bar for lunch, or sit inside for dinner, be sure to have a Pusser's Painkiller along with a beautiful beach view.

9. Lawrence's

 

Lawrence's on Isle of Palms -- serving lobster, Po Boy's, and all manner of seafood, Lawrence's Seafood Company has got you covered for all your seafood needs.

10. The Longboard - Sullivan's Island

The Longboard – Sullivan’s Island is the second iteration of The Longboard concept, originally born on St. John, USVI. The flagship location opened May 1, 2015 in the heart of Cruz Bay, St. John, offering light & healthy fares and creative cocktails inspired by coastal regions around the globe.

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2 comments


  • Christian

    Is Pusser’s 95.5% Rum Still made and distributed?


  • Ken Luckey

    To keep the tradition going you need the “Tin Cup” with Charleston SC and a coastal view printed on it. I would love to add to my collection. I only drink a Painkiller in one of my tin cups.


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