Classic Bushwacker Drink Recipe

The Bushwacker cocktail tastes like a boozy mocha milkshake. It feels like a Pina Colada, but it tastes like chocolate, coconut and coffee. What’s not to love?

This drink has such a rich mocha taste, and the coconut adds a touch of tropical deliciousness. It’s a creamy, thick drink that feels like a mini-vacation in a glass.

Bushwacker cocktail in glass with chocolate shavings

Origins of the Bushwacker Drink

It was first created by bartender Angie Conigliaro in the 1970s at a bar called The Ship’s Store in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It was only after a visiting bartender tried it and recreated it at her own bar in Florida that it began to pick up worldwide popularity.

Today, it’s a much loved recipe everywhere from backyards to the tropics, thanks to its rich and decadent blend of flavors.

It may have been named after the bar owner’s dog.

What’s in it?

To make it at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Dark rum
  • Kahlua or coffee liqueur
  • Cream of coconut
  • Dark creme de cacoa
  • Whole milk or half-and-half
  • Ice

You can play around with the measurements in this recipe. This version of it has a decently strong coconut flavor, and you can use less if you prefer.


You can also make a number of substitutions without changing the flavor profile much. Or at least, you can’t make it taste anything less than delicious.

Feel free to use the following if it’s what you’ve got on hand.

  • Light rum (or any other kind). Spiced rum would really shake it up, but it would taste great!
  • Any brand of coffee liqueur. Tia Maria would give it a darker coffee flavor.
  • White creme de cacao is fine – it just doesn’t boost the rich brown color that can add to this drink’s appetizing appearance.
  • While it’s best with a very creamy milk, plant-based milk works too. Add some extra ice to compensate for the lack of a thick creamy texture from the milk.
  • Make sure you buy Cream of Coconut, and not coconut cream, since they are very different ingredients. Coco Lopez and Coco Real are two of the best known brands.


Add some ice cream, change a few of the ingredients, and you’ve got a Pensacola Bushwacker. They’re both delicious and very similar. It just depends how rich and creamy you’re in the mood for the drink to be.

Serving Suggestions

A Bushwacker is best enjoyed in good company, with a side of relaxation.

  • Garnish Galore: Feel free to go mad with the decorations. Sprinkle some grated chocolate, toasted coconut flakes, or crushed nuts on top of your Bushwacker for an eye-catching presentation.
  • Beachy Vibes: Serve your cocktail in a coconut shell or tiki mug to enhance the tropical ambiance.
  • Sip and Savor: Pair your Bushwacker with light appetizers such as tropical fruit skewers, coconut shrimp, or mini sliders for a well-rounded flavor experience.

Bushwacker cocktail in tumbler with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and a straw

Other Coconut Drinks To Love

If you enjoy this drink, be sure to check out the Grasshopper cocktail, which tastes like a rich chocolate mint dessert. Also the Painkiller, the Caramel “J”, and the Checkerboard.

Bushwacker cocktail in glass with chocolate shavings

Classic Bushwacker Drink Recipe

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Bushwacker cocktail tastes like a boozy mocha milkshake. It feels like a Pina Colada, but it tastes like chocolate, coconut and coffee. What's not to love?


  • 1 1/2 ounces of dark rum
  • 1 ounce of Kahlua or coffee liqueur
  • 2 ounces of cream of coconut
  • 1 ounce of dark creme de cacao
  • 2 ounces of whole milk or half-and-half
  • Crushed ice


  1. Fill a blender with ice.
  2. Add all the ingredients.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the blended mixture into a chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle of chocolate shavings or whipped cream and cocoa powder.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Last Updated:

December 4, 2023