Bushwacker Cocktail Ingredients & Recipe: Everything You Need to Make a Boozy Blended Cocktail

We all know that going to the bar with friends can be a great way to spend the night after a long day or week of work. Bars always seem to have the best food and drinks, but sometimes they can get pretty expensive.

Bushwacker cocktails at a bar

So, if you find yourself craving a great-tasting libation (like a Bushwacker cocktail) but don’t want to hit the bar to get it, why not try your hand at making one yourself?

Keep reading as we list everything you need to make a deliciously creamy cocktail. We'll provide everything you need to know about Bushwacker cocktail ingredients so you can become a rockstar home bartender. 

Let's dive in, shall we?

What's a Bushwacker Cocktail?

The Bushwacker cocktail is a boozy summer cocktail with a creamy texture that tastes like a childhood chocolate milkshake combined with a refreshing adult piña colada.

What's a Bushwacker Cocktail?

Bushwacker Cocktail History

This cocktail comes from the mind of Tom Brokamp, a bartender and bar manager at the Ship's Store Pub on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands around 1975. 

Tom, however, would push all credit and reputation gained for creating this drink to his partner Angie. He says she suggested that Tom make a drink that could be a tropical take on the White Russian. It took a few weeks of testing and experimenting, but when Tom solidified the recipe, all they had left to do was name it.

Why Is It Called a Bushwacker?

The name’s origin story begins with two men who came into the pub on a slow night with a large dog in tow. The gentlemen loved the drink that Tom and Angie had created, and the town's people incidentally loved the duo's large dog. Their dog's name was Bushwack!

So, in the end, this new tropical take on the classic White Russian was named the Bushwacker, all thanks to two gentlemen who happened to stroll into the Ship's Store Pub at the right time, with their large dog named Bushwack in tow.

Bushwacker Popularity

Tom and Angie's Bushwacker concoction became instantly famous throughout Florida as other bartenders spent countless hours trying to either crack their recipe or create their own version of the Bushwacker. Linda Murphy, a fellow bar owner of the Sandshaker bar in Pensacola Beach, was one of these people hellbent on creating their own Bushwacker concoction. Her version was just as successful as the original that her bartenders couldn't keep up with the demand for her Pensacola-inspired variation.

Bushwacker Cocktail Ingredients Explained

As interesting as the history of this delightful cocktail is, let's move on to the fun part…gathering the necessary ingredients! 

Bushwacker cocktail ingredients:

  • Aged rum
  • Crème de cacao
  • Cream of coconut
  • Kahlua
  • Milk
  • Ice

This list is everything you will need if you want to make a classic Bushwacker cocktail in your kitchen for yourself and friends when your sweet tooth (and happy hour) comes calling.

So, let's dive deeper into each of these yummy ingredients… 

What's Kahlua?

Kahlua is a coffee liqueur utilized as an essential ingredient in cocktails like the White Russian, Espresso Martini, and Bushwacker. It can also ramp up an evening coffee, going from good to downright delectable.

Taste & Appearance

If you've never seen what Kahlua looks like or tastes like, you are in for a treat. It is essentially a rum-based liqueur infused with coffee with deep, creamy caramel color.

It tastes like a roasted chestnut coffee with cream and a bit of sweet butter added to give it a perfect balance of creamy, roasted black coffee with a background of rum that brings it all together in perfect harmony that will leave you wanting more.

Kahlua Price

For a regular-sized bottle of Kahlua, you will probably spend anywhere from $20 to $30, depending on where you live.

Kahlua Substitutes

If you are looking to make a Bushwacker cocktail but can't find a bottle of Kahlua anywhere, you can substitute the Kahlua with a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream instead.

A bonus? Coffee liqueurs are outstanding in several cocktails, on their own, or mixed into a cup of joe!

What’s Crème De Cacao?

Crème de cacao is a chocolate-flavored liqueur that contains splashes of vanilla to help balance the sweetness and thickness of the chocolate. It is often used in drinks like King Alphonse and Cubano Coffee, and it can (and should) be poured over ice cream and other desserts. Yum!

Creme De Cacao Substitutes

If you need to substitute crème de cacao with something else because you don't have any on hand, you can replace it with dark crème de cacao. Or, if you don't have any dark crème de cacao, you could also go with a non-alcoholic substitute and use chocolate syrup or water mixed with a chocolate extract.

We like to think that creme de cacao is one of the must-have Bushwacker cocktail ingredients. Its flavor makes a huge difference in the cocktail's flavor!

Creme De Cacao Price

You should be able to easily find a bottle of crème de cacao to purchase somewhere between $10 and $20.

Cream of Coconut vs. Coconut Cream

Of everything on the Bushwacker cocktail ingredients list that you can substitute, the cream of coconut should not be considered a replaceable ingredient, especially for coconut cream.

There is a significant difference between the two.

The main thing you need to know about the cream of coconut versus coconut cream when you are crafting the perfect homemade Bushwacker is that coconut cream is a lot thicker than cream of coconut, and it has the coconut taste you will want in this cocktail, BUT it will not have the sweetness that this cocktail needs.

Cream of coconut is not only thinner in its consistency (which is what you want), it also has that sweet coconut taste that makes this cocktail of chocolate milkshake meets piña colada. Cream of coconut is another must-have ingredient.

Cream of Coconut Price

You should be able to find a bottle of cream or coconut at your local grocery store for anywhere from $5 to $10. Our top brand recommendations are Coco Lopez, Real Coconut Cream, or Goya.

How Many Calories Does a Bushwacker Cocktail Have?

After you've taken the time to combine all these ingredients and have created your first Bushwacker cocktail, this beverage will have about 564 calories.

While that might seem like many calories upfront, it is well worth it. We all deserve indulgence from time to time!

Putting the Bushwacker Cocktail Ingredients to Use

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived! Gather all your Bushwacker ingredients, a blender, and some ice. It's time to whip up some boozy deliciousness.

Bushwacker Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 2 ounces creme de cacao
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces 2% milk (preferred)
  • 3 cups ice
  • For the garnish: Shaved chocolate or grated nutmeg

Instructions:

Add all ingredients (except garnishes) into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with chocolate and nutmeg shavings. Add a straw and serve! 

When to Whip Up Bushwacker Cocktail Ingredients

Now, when's the best time to shake up (or blend, rather) these Bushwacker ingredients?

As we've mentioned, this particular cocktail tends to make people think of a creamy chocolate milkshake with an adult, alcoholic kick.

We think it's best to serve Bushwacker cocktails in group settings as either a dessert drink at a summertime beach day or a pool party with friends.

Bottoms Up!

There you have it, folks! You now have all the listed Bushwacker cocktail ingredients and the necessary steps to create this delicious cocktail.

If you make it so good that everyone else likes it too, don't say we didn't warn you if you have inadvertently become the unofficial bartender for the next few get-togethers you have with friends and family.

If you'd like to concoct a Bushwacker cocktail but don't feel you have the time it takes to make it yourself… Try our Mixly Coconut Ginger Lime Mixer for a unique spin with the same tropical vibes.

coconut-ginger-lime mixly mixer

Simply add our mixer into a blender with rum and ice. Easy peasy. Cheers!