The Painkiller: A Caribbean traveler's cocktail
Maybe it's because the concoction, when made right, is not overly sweet or acidic. Besides rum, it's made with a mix of pineapple and orange juices and cream of coconut. But the fruity acidity of the juices and the creaminess of the cream of coconut offset each other, so it's neither too acidic or too creamy. And something about the mix disguises the rum, so you don't know just how much pain you're actually killing.
Painkillers are the signature drink of the Virgin Islands (both U.S. and British ones), and rumor has it the cocktail got its start at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs—so named because you have to swim to shore to get to the bar, thereby getting your dollars all soggy. Perhaps that's why I like them so much; the drink is so tied to the identity of these islands that I feel like I'm in the Caribbean every time I sip one.
If you want to take a "spiritual" trip to the Virgin Islands yourself, here's the Painkiller recipe (which, as you'll see below, I put to use last weekend in Maine).
4 parts pineapple juice
1 part orange juice
1 part cream of coconut
2, 3 or 4 parts golden rum, depending on desired strength (don't use light or dark rum)
Mix well, then serve over ice cubes. Don't forget the final step: grate fresh nutmeg on top!