Painkiller’s Supporters Launch Boycott of Pusser’s Rum

Bartenders have launched a boycott of Pusser's Rum in support of Painkiller tiki bar.

In response to our story yesterday, which was picked up by Eater and other major food blogs as well as the New York Times, a group calling itself “Bartenders Against Pusser’s Rum” has started a Facebook page to launch a boycott of the British Virgin Islands rum manufacturer that forced Lower East Side tiki bar Painkiller to change its name and give up its website as a result of a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Painkiller owners Guiseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato settled the lawsuit in federal court late last month.

“Support Guiseppe and PKNY,” the page lists as its description. “It’s lame to trademark cocktails.”

It was started this afternoon by Erik Trickett and Matthew Robold, of craft cocktail bar 320 Main in Seal Beach, Ca. News of the campaign went viral on Twitter and within 46 minutes of creation, the Facebook group had 106 members.

In an initial post, Robold said: “Keep inviting, spread the word, damn the man, save the empire, and so on.”

A sampling of comments from members:

Rocky Yeh: “I find it hard that PKNY was damaging their brand.  In fact, the smart thing to do would have been to find a way to co-exist if not cross promote each other.  For those of us who work with brands this is a valuable lesson in how the world communicates now and how you had better be ready for whatever consequences come your way.  That, and I dislike copyrighting drinks.”

Ereich Vaughn Hohenheim Empey: “Pussers is mad with power.  Or rather, this liberal world of ours is mad with copyright.”

Also today, NYC-based journalist Robert Simonson has some interesting background on the history of Painkiller cocktails.

(Update, 4:05 p.m.): A second Facebook page, Bartenders and Cocktailians Against Pusser’s is also gathering supporters this afternoon.

3 comments to Painkiller’s Supporters Launch Boycott of Pusser’s Rum

  • Dguzda

    Considering rum’s historical relationship with human trafficking, slavery and general domestic and international lawlessness from its inception, people want to boycott ONE BRAND because a single IP incident? 

    There is blood in every bottle.

    I’m not talking about Nelson’s Blood, either.
    Donald James Guzda
    Canada

  • PATTIMILLER10

    IF YOU EVER HAD A PAINKILLER WITH PUSSERS RUM YOU WOULD KNOW THE ANSWER, I AM A RUM NUT AND LIKE MOST RUMS AND DON’T REALLY CARE WHICH BRAND EXCEPT FOR THE PAINKILLER . A PAINKILLER SHOULD USE PUSSERS. A REAL TREAT!

  • I’ve just come across this whole debacle and wrote on a few
    other sites… might as well give my perspective here too.

     

    I don’t know.  Its not
    like the Pussers company doesn’t allow any bars to make the drink
    “Painkiller”, its that the bar in NY was using the
    “Painkiller” name in its Tiki Bar’s name.  CLEARLY riding the coattails of all the
    investment and expense that the Pusser’s company put in over all the years and
    introducing it to the North American Market (Over $1 million –
    http://www.pussers.com/joby.htm).

     

    Look I’m a longtime Sailor and I’ve been to the BVI’s and
    also sailed and been to Annapolis MD in which they have another Pussers (which is
    one of the few in North America).  I also
    live & sailed the NY, NJ waters and LI Sound for over 20 years and when I
    think PAINKILLER I think PUSSER’s.  Plain
    and Simple.  They’ve put the time, money
    and effort to promote PUSSER’s which for any self respecting sailor is
    synonymous with PAINKILLERS.

     

    Not that any bar can’t make one – But Pusser’s made it
    famous (with the ok of original inventors of the ~tiny~ Soggy Dollar bar in the
    BVI’s which is called the “Soggy Dollar” because you have to anchor
    out and swim to the bar to get a drink :)).

     

    With that said I feel the exact same way with a “Dark n
    Stormy”.  You can make it with a
    different dark Rum other than a Goslings (like for instance a Myers’ and Ginger
    beer ~blech~) but when any self respecting Sailor thinks “Dark n
    Stormy” they think Goslings.

     

    Just a little bit of perspective from a “Sailor”
    where I guess traditions are still cherished — and I think most
    “good” bartenders and bars feel the same way.  Tradition in making a classic cocktail is
    paramount.  If not then you are just
    another one of those low class college bars like down Jersey Shore that serve
    any alchohol (usually the cheapest) and call it a “xxxx” (insert
    classic cocktail name here).

     

    IMHO – Cap’t Jack Sparrow….lol