Mixology 619: The Painkiller


If you’re craving a sweet tropical cocktail, then this is the drink for you. In this episode of Mixology 619, bar manager of Jsix, located in East Village, Chris Burkett serves up a delicious tiki-themed cocktail. Here’s a little background on Burkett.

Did you grow up in San Diego?

I was born in Fontana, CA., but I’ve lived in Chicago and a lot of places in between. To compare my former gypsy-like lifestyle to the Big Lebowski, I think Walter sums it up nicely: “And as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and... up to... Pismo.” I’ve been in SD about three years now.

How did you get into bartending?

I used to be involved in freelance writing and copy editing. I always bartended to keep a social life. One day I realized I wasn’t content, so I started studying spirits, beer, wine, the history/stories behind them and fell in love. I’m a story man at heart. If you have a good story or three to tell, you’ve lived a good life. Money and things, none of that matters without the stories behind them.

How long have you been working at Jsix?

I’ve been at Jsix for almost a year.

What kind of experience can someone get at Jsix?

The most delectable kind, of course.

When you’re not mixing drinks, what are you doing in your spare time?

I read a lot; education as well as science fiction, poetry and philosophy. I also enjoy refurbishing old furniture, but if I may take a moment to laugh dramatically: “Hahahaha, what free time?”

The Painkiller

Cost: $12

  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. coconut syrup
  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum

Garnish with pineapple leaves, bananas and tropical flowers.

What’s the origin of The Painkiller?

Daphne Henderson from the Soggy Dollar Bar located on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands is accredited to have created the original recipe.

How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?

The best tropical sensation you’ll ever throw down your gullet!

What is the theme of this drink?

Tiki, tiki, tiki.

Any reason you went with Mount Gay Barrel Rum?

Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum is from Barbados and has a lot or rich and playful spice notes that balance out wonderfully with all of the fruit juices.

Can you use a dark or spiced rum?

The original recipe calls for Pusser’s Rum, (it’s a trademarked cocktail actually, similar to a dark and stormy being made with Gosling’s rum or a Moscow mule being made with Smirnoff) which is a molasses based rum from the islands for Trinidad and Guyana. Mt. Gay is from Barbados, which is slightly north of Trinidad. When you think about rums, you need to think about the region in which the sugar cane is grown as it will greatly affect the flavor; similar to wine and grape varietals. With that being said, I would say that as long as the drink is made with molasses based rum it’s all fair game.

What would be the key component in this drink?

The theme and balance of fruit juices to rum. Tiki-style cocktails are an experience, not simply juice and rum in a glass. Balance is key to everything in life, especially cocktail creation.

What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?

Any luau or island style cuisine: lomilomi salmon, chicken long rice, Kalua pork and poi. Lots and lots of poi.

Watch as Chris Burkett makes this sweet and refreshing drink.


616 J Street, East Village.

(619) 531-8744 or

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Jarnard Sutton is a multimedia producer for DiscoverSD and San Diego Union-Tribune. He loves providing readers with updates on music and events happening in San Diego. You can follow Jarnard at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and television. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain

Source: DiscoverSD