The Bushwacker is a fun, indulgent smoothie that is a lot like a chocolate-flavored Pina Colada without the pineapple.
We're not just talking chocolate either. No, this frozen cocktail is full of sweet stuff including delicious dark rum, the killer coffee taste of Kahlua, and captivating coconut. All of these elements mix with the creme de cacao for one of the best blended drinks out there.
Some recipes for the Bushwacker may call for Pina Colada mix. You'll find that this (and any drink) is better if you avoid these shortcuts. It's unnecessary and, as the mantra goes, fresh is best.
This recipe can serve up to three 5-ounce drinks. If you have leftovers, pour it into a sealed container and keep it frozen until you're ready for the next round.
You can even use your freezer to store a party's worth of Bushwackers that are prepared in advance. Just let the drinks warm up a bit—obviously, not enough to melt—before serving so they're drinkable.
More Tips for Making a Great Bushwacker
The Rum. The Bushwacker is a drink with a lot going on so there's no need to go overboard on the rum. Find a good, inexpensive rum that you enjoy in other cocktails and go with that.
If you don't have a dark rum in stock, don't worry. Any rum will do just fine here. The dark rum does add a richer background to the drink but it's not entirely necessary.
The Coffee Liqueur. While the recipe calls specifically for Kahlua, it's not essential either. There are many other coffee liqueurs available and you might find you like one better than Kahlua. Remember, just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's the best (it is, however, a sign of good marketing).
Give Tia Maria, Patron Cafe, or Firelit a try in the Bushwacker. If you're feeling crafty, there are some impressive coffee liqueurs produced at small distilleries as well.
The Chocolate Liqueur. Creme de cacao is a popular option for a chocolate liqueur and many brands produce it. The dark variety will add to the Bushwacker's flavor and color and you will lose some of that if you use white creme de cacao. However, if that's what you have, go ahead and pour it.
The Cream and Milk. Coconut cream and milk are requirements for the Bushwacker. The coconut adds to that colada flavor and the two ingredients work in tandem to give this cocktail its creamy goodness.
How Strong Is the Bushwacker?
Most frozen cocktails are actually quite light on the alcohol. As it stands in the recipe, the Bushwacker weighs in at about 6 percent ABV (12 proof). The problem often arises when people pour too much booze into the blender and that can get someone drunk faster than expected.
We should always take into account the fact that frozen drinks are often enjoyed in the hot sun and drinkers often don't eat enough food to absorb the alcohol. Their sweet taste also brings us back for more! Take it easy on these drinks and be sure to drink plenty of water when partying in the summer.