Pusser's Painkiller®: The Million Dollar Cocktail!

Annapolis Boat Show attendees enjoy over 30,600 Painkillers

Pusser's Caribbean Grille on the Annapolis Harbor just hosted a record-breaking annual event this October! Where the power boating and sailing communities came together, Pusser's Rum set the stage. Pusser's Painkiller® stole the show, selling over 30,600 concoctions of orange juice, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and Pusser's Rum. This number, combined with the number of Painkiller® cocktails sold over the course of the year, give a total of 100,000 Painkillers® sold – making it the million dollar cocktail!

The Pusser’s Painkiller® Story

A version of the classic Pusser’s Painkiller® had its start at the six-seat Soggy Dollar Bar on a long stretch of white sand beach at White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. There’s no dock, so the usual way in is to swim. Of course, your dollars get wet, hence the name “Soggy Dollar Bar.”

It was owned by an English lady, Daphne Henderson. Boaters, including Pusser’s founder, Charles Tobias, came from distant places to sample her version of the Painkiller for which she’d become locally famous. 

Daphne Henderson and Charles Tobias became good friends, but in spite of their close friendship, and no matter how he tried, she refused to divulge her secret recipe for the cocktail. Two years passed. One late Sunday afternoon, Tobias somehow managed to get one of her concoctions back through the surf and over the gunwale into his boat, and ultimately into his kitchen on Tortola where he lived. There he went to work trying to match her flavor as closely as possible with his own recipe, which he finally worked out to be “4-1-1-1” ratio—four parts pineapple, one part cream of coconut and one part orange juice adding Pusser’s Rum to suit.

The following Sunday, Tobias returned to her bar and announced to the patrons on hand that he had finally broken her secret. So he mixed one of his and circulated it for comments. Tobias discerned a slight difference, but thought his mixture to be better, not quite so sweet as hers, and told her so. The ten patrons gathered around the bar unanimously preferred his version to hers, and the rest is history!

Soon after, Tobias started promoting Pusser’s Painkillers® first at the Road Town Pub and then at his restaurants at West End and on Marina Cay. From this modest beginning, the fame of the Pusser’s Painkiller® has not only spread throughout the boating and sailing communities but to the bars, corner pubs, chain restaurants, and some of the finest cocktail venues throughout the world.

Pusser's Annapolis Boat Show

Since 1970, the Annapolis Boat Shows have hosted some of the most exciting boating events in the maritime industry. This October 2021, we held the United States Powerboat Show and the United States Sailboat Show.

Sailors from around the globe gather on miles of docks in beautiful downtown historic Annapolis to celebrate the United States Sailboat Show. This internationally acclaimed sailboat show is recognized as the world’s largest and most prestigious show of its kind.

Boat show goers enjoy the unique opportunity to board and inspect new models from virtually every major sailboat manufacturer, make side-by-side comparisons, talk to industry representatives, and see the latest in boating products and services. These boat show weekends are full of boats, exhibits, shopping, drink tastings, and education.

Pusser's Caribbean Grille

Pusser's Caribbean Grille is an award-winning restaurant, bar and retail store, right on the Annapolis Harbor. Named after Pusser's Rum, it's the only true waterfront restaurant in Annapolis.

Established in 1994 under an operating lease with the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, Pusser's has become a favorite dining spot and "watering hole" for local Annapolitans, and a "must-see" among visitors.Voted Annapolis’ best waterfront dining and dock bar, it takes pride in serving fresh seafood, local market ingredients and seasonal specialties all with a vibrant Caribbean flair. It's a fun, casual atmosphere with island-inspired cocktails, a full array of craft and domestic beers, wines and the world-famous Painkiller.
Visit pussersannapolis.com for more details.
Learn To Make The Painkiller Here
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