Rx Recipes: The Painkiller Cocktail

This tropical drink is best served by a pharmacist to ensure proper dosing, says Neal Fowler, ’84

Recipe by Neal Fowler | Published August 15, 2023

Side-by-side photos of a Painkiller cocktail at a beach and a headshot of Neal Fowler

Our Rx Recipes series explores recipes provided by faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Neal Fowler, BSPharm ’84, MBA ’88, shares his recipe for a Caribbean-inspired cocktail great for end-of-summer parties. Neal recommends making a pitcher to serve with the following ratios:

12-18 ounces Dark Rum (Myer’s or Pusser’s both recommended)
*12 ounces are typical, but mix-to-taste for stronger
24 ounces pineapple juice
6 ounce orange juice
6 ounce coconut cream
Ground nutmeg


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a pitcher
  2. Serve over ice
  3. Lastly, and most importantly, be sure to sprinkle nutmeg on top
  4. Makes six 8-ounce servings

This recipe comes from Neal Fowler, BS Pharmacy ’84, MBA ’88. Neal began his career as a pharmacist with Kerr Drug for two years before returning to UNC for his MBA. He then worked Eli Lilly and Company, and from there went on to serve in a number of leadership roles in industry ventures including Ortho-McNeil, Johnson & Johnson, and Liquidia. Currently, he is CEO of Pathalys Pharma, a life-sciences start-up focused on developing enhanced therapeutics for patients with chronic kidney disease.

Neal said the genesis of the “Painkiller” cocktail is the Virgin Islands, and you can find this tasty cocktail at most Caribbean bars. “This is a fun cocktail for pharmacists to serve,” Neal said. “You offer your guests a painkiller, and they look at you with confusion—are you offering them a pill?”

Beyond his professional experience, Neal enjoys all things Carolina, particularly UNC basketball and football games. Over the years, he has been one of the pharmacy school’s most active volunteers, and is the past chair of the Pharmacy Foundation Board of Directors. Neal’s enthusiasm makes him a natural leader talented at bringing people along with him—a talent he brought to the Foundation’s Board.

“It always starts with the people,” Neal said, sharing his take on the School’s success. “And that’s why we are #1!” (We agree, Neal.)

When he isn’t flying around the globe for work, Neal can often be found at the beach or in Charleston visiting his first grandbaby. Otherwise, he calls Raleigh home and enjoys time with his sweet rescue Labrador retriever.

Thank you for a recipe that is a dose of the Caribbean, Neal!