Yes, I am a proud Texan, but I originally hail from the Caribbean. So I love writing about products and recipes that originate from there. And one such cocktail is the Bushwacker.

The Bushwacker is actually very popular in Florida, but was first created in 1975 at the Ship’s Store & Sapphire Pub in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The inventors were the bartender, Angie Conigliaro (if you recognize the last name, it’s because she is cousin to Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox) and restaurant manager Tom Brokamp. Some call the drink a chocolate piña colada, but I think it is much more than that.

Depending on the origin story you read, the original recipe was somewhat different from the one now accepted as the Bushwacker. Originally it may have had vodka and triple sec. It was named from a patron of the bar who had an Afghan Hound named Bushwack. (Don’t you love history?).

The Bushwacker made its way stateside after some Florida bartenders fell in love with the concoction and brought it back with them. It spread across Florida and you can find just as many variations.
In fact, it is so popular in the Sunshine State that every year since 1986 there has been the Bushwacker Festival that takes place at Quietwater Beach in Pensacola.

Courtesy photo

Here is the “standard” recipe:

2 oz dark rum
1 oz Kahlua (or any coffee liqueur)
1 oz dark creme de cacao
1 oz cream of coconut (use Coco Lopez)
2 oz whole milk
In a blender of ice (about a cup) add all ingredients and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into a large glass (like a hurricane) and garnish with nutmeg.