The Soggy Dollar Bar, Not Pusser’s, Has Made The Virgin Islands Rum Drink Famous
Nobody who goes to the the Virgin Islands goes to Pusser’s for a Painkiller. We all know the place for that drink is the Soggy Dollar Bar.
So why is Pusser’s making such a big deal about a bar in New York using that name? And in response, bartenders throughout the city are boycotting using Pusser’s Rum.
Pusser’s bought the rights to “Painkiller” in 1981 and has sued the bar owners to force them to change the name, which will now become PKNY (Pain Killer New York).
This move has caused a backlash among the bartending community, even launching a couple of anti-Pusser’s Facebook pages, making it a less popular British company than BP.
Come on, Pusser’s! Why are you taking such a pirate’s stand? Give ’em a break. In fact, take advantage of it; work with them to have special Painkiller nights and events. Oddly, the bar owners don’t even use Pusser’s in its namesake drink. And you can bet they are not about to start doing it now.
Pusser’s is not even the most available – or desired – rum in the Caribbean. In the Virgin Islands, the pour of choice is Cruzan (made in St. Croix). The British Navy gave its sailors a bottle a day back in the day as part of their pay, but modern-day sailors prefer other Caribbean rums.
Pusser’s also has a few bars in the British Virgin Islands, the most popular of which is in Road Town, Tortola. But for anyone seeking a Painkiller, the place is not Pusser’s but the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke. That fact is even a lyric in a song heard throughout the islands: “We kill our pain at the Soggy Dollar,” local musician Eric Stone sings.
The Soggy Dollar is so named because you pretty much have to jump off your anchored sailboat and swim up to it (oh, you can also take a dingy to shore, but that’s best utilized for after spending a couple of hours at the Soggy Dollar). The drink is a combination of rum, pineapple and orange juice and cream of coconut, topped with shavings of nutmeg, served in a signature 10-ounce cup. Every chartered boat in the BVIs has dozens of those cups on board. The rum used at Soggy Dollar is Cruzan dark, by the way.
So if any place should be doing the suing, it’s the Soggy Dollar Bar that should be suing Pusser’s.
Now pardon me while I go make a Painkiller in one of my Soggy Dollar cups.