header home Backbar Bar Station Recipe Database Month's Feature "Drink-o-pedia" Mixology Contact

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum


By Robert Plotkin

Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins was the godfather of American tattooing, a visionary craftsmen and a true independent whose work is still emulated today. He expanded the color palette of modern day tattooing with the creation of purple ink and his custom-built tattoo machines are still revered today. His independent spirit and desire to elevate tattooing made him one changed American tattooing forever. He brought innovative style to the Sailor Jerry Tattoo parlor that he opened on Hotel Street in Honolulu's Chinatown in the 1950s, which was then the only place on the island where tattoo studios were permitted.

The rum that bears his name— Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum—is based on Collins' own personal recipe. The iconic brand is made in the U.S. Virgin Islands from continuous-distilled rum and a proprietary blend of spices, caramel and natural flavors. In keeping with its birthright, the label features a quintessential Sailor Jerry hula girl. As the bottle is emptied, additional Collins' pin-up girls are visible on the inside of the label. The rum is bottled at a lip-tingling 46% alcohol by volume (92 proof)

The rum is a fitting tribute to the late, great Sailor Jerry Collins. It has a fetching amber hue, a medium-weight, velvety textured body and a generous bouquet of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. The aromatics are as enticing as those in a small neighborhood bakery. The rum quickly expands on the palate filling the mouth with warm, spicy, semisweet flavors before fading into a black cherry-laced finish.

Here's a rum with nearly unlimited applications behind the bar. It's a natural mixed with cola and juice or served in a Daiquiri or tall Tiki-like concoction. That the rum is reasonably priced only fuels its universal appeal.

So here's to Sailor Jerry, an American original, and the rum that bears his name. Bottoms up!