The scrumptious blend of rums, liqueurs, and creamy coconut in a Bushwacker Cocktail will transport you from your patio to a tropical paradise with just one sip.
There’s a reason you’ll imagine you’re on a tropical island from the first sip of this cocktail. The Bushwacker was invented in 1975 at a bar on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. I wasn’t there (although that would have been awesome), but I can imagine the bartender pulling some of the most delicious bottles off the shelf and experimenting until they found the perfect concoction. The result: the ridiculously delicious Bushwacker. Side note: legend has it that the drink was named after a dog of some of the bar regulars. Since it’s not too much of a stretch to say that this drink, like dogs, could become a best friend—or at least enjoyed in the company of them.
With a mix of Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, Crème de Cacao, Amaretto, and coconut cream poured over crushed ice, the Bushwacker is a cousin to other fan favorites such as the Piña Colada, the Frozen Mudslide, or the White Russian, but this creamy mix definitely stands on its own.
Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe
What’s not to love? It’s like an adult milkshake. You can experiment with different liqueurs and amounts, depending on your flavor preference. Sip with your eyes closed. I swear, you might even hear the ocean calling.
- A blender
- An island-style, Hurricane-shaped glass
- A jigger or measuring tool
- A long spoon
- A cherry pitter (optional)
- Dark rum 1 oz
- Kahlúa 1 oz
- Baileys Irish Cream 1 oz
- Crème de cacao 1 oz
- Amaretto 1 oz
- Cream of coconut 2 oz
- Crushed ice 1 cup
- Whipped cream and cherry for topping
- Place the dark rum, Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, Crème de Cacao, Amaretto, cream of coconut, and crushed ice into your blender.
- Whiz it all up until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Transfer your concoction into a chilled glass.
- Crown it with a whiff of whipped cream, top it off with a cherry, and it’s all set to enjoy.
Tips & Tricks to Make a Perfect Bushwacker Cocktail
- Chill your glassware. It’ll help keep the drink cold and enhance the overall experience.
- Avoid chunks of ice by blending thoroughly until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- It’s important to measure carefully. I strongly recommend using a jigger or other measuring cup to ensure you have the right amounts and proportions.
Despite the name, crème de cacao is not a fancy form of chocolate milk. In fact, there’s no dairy in it at all. It’s a chocolate liqueur used for flavoring dessert drinks such as a chocolate Martini or Grasshopper.
Short answer: No. Long answer: Nooooo. Coconut cream is thick and unsweetened, made by skimming the layer of cream from chilled coconut milk. You want cream of coconut, a sweetened syrup for drinks. Normally sold in squeeze bottles, you can find it in the liquor store or online.
Set the mood with a chilled glass and appealing garnishes. Swirl some whipped cream and literally, put the cherry on top. You can also add a slice of pineapple or a mini umbrella. You might even turn on some calypso music!
The typical Bushwacker is not exactly diet-friendly, clocking in at around 575 calories per drink. But you can adjust that with substitutions for the liqueurs and cream of coconut.
Bushwacker Cocktail Variations Worth Trying
Clean Bushwacker: This low-carb, keto-friendly variation cuts down on the sugar by removing the Kahlúa and Crème de cacao and using unsweetened coconut cream instead of cream of coconut.
Bushwacker Mocktail: Keeping the tropics alive but ditching the alcohol, the Bushwacker Mocktail replaces alcoholic components with non-alcoholic alternatives—coffee or cola for the dark rum, almond extract for Amaretto, and chocolate syrup for Crème de cacao.
How to Store
The Bushwacker is easy to prep ahead of time. Whip up a big batch (minus the ice), throw it into the fridge, and then blend it with ice before serving. You can store any leftovers (sans ice) for about two days in the fridge. To be honest though, it’s better to drink right after blending. You can also freeze it for a Bushwacker-inspired ice cream/sorbet.