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Ollie’s Local owner Eddie Crane perfects the Painkiller cocktail with his El Calmante

Eddie Crane owns Ollie’s Local in midtown Kansas City.
Eddie Crane owns Ollie’s Local in midtown Kansas City.

“The zenith of boat drinks.”

That’s how Ollie’s Local owner Eddie Crane describes the Painkiller, a creamy rum cocktail that originated at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands.

After spending some time on Virgin Gorda, Crane has fond memories of the drink, which is traditionally made with Pusser’s rum. But he added a few tweaks so the cocktail born on the beach would translate to the prairie and his bar at 3044 Gillham Road.

His goal was to take away the cloying sweetness of a drink heavy in sweetened coconut cream and pineapple juice. Starting with housemade coconut cream helped. Crane also changed the proportions of the drink by adding more orange juice and an additional hit of bright acidity from fresh lime juice.

He was almost there, but something was still missing.

The answer came from a different bar — one in the Crossroads Arts District, not in the Caribbean Sea. Crane was having drinks at Extra Virgin when he first tried Paranubes Oaxaca Rum from Mexico.

The complex rum, made from wild fermenting fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, provided the perfect base for a boat drink Crane calls El Calmante (calmante means pain reliever). The resulting flavors are bold — more schooner than dinghy.

El Calmante is frothy and tropical without being a caricature of island life. It’s the perfect recipe for scaling up and sharing with friends on the patio, with Jimmy Buffet crooning in the background, as you reminisce about tropical getaways or dream about vacations to come.

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Ollie’s Local serves a creamy rum cocktail called El Calmante. Judy Revenaugh

El Calmante

1 1/4 ounce Paranubes Oaxaca Rum

1/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce coconut cream, recipe follows

1 ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce orange juice

Fresh nutmeg

Swatch of orange peel

Combine all liquid ingredients over ice and shake vigorously to aerate the cream and fruit juice. Strain over medium-sized ice cubes into a short highball glass. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top and garnish with a swatch of orange peel.

Coconut cream

Equal parts Thai coconut cream and sugar

Dash of salt

Combine all ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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