I could make pirate jokes at this point, but I like to think I’m a little more creative than that. (Okay, so we do have Pirate Nights where we drink Piraat and make horrible puns and painfully tacky jokes, but that’s different. That’s drinking.) I’m not even going to make a joke about drinking Sailor Jerry all night and waking up to feel like you’ve been carousing with burly sea men.
Save it for Pirate Night.
But I have found the ladies do love Sailor Jerry. Even the ones that claim they don’t care for the hard stuff (heehee).
Having my book club ladies over so often, I’d gotten tired of having wine all the time, so I switched over to girly mixed drinks for a while when we had people over at the house. A half-bottle of Sailor Jerry spiced rum had been lurking behind the Bombay Sapphire and some odd Mexican liqueur that arrived as a gift. I suspect several of you have the same thing–a few odd bottles of assorted beverages in a cupboard or cabinet that you keep forgetting you have.
So I pull out the bottle of rum with the tattoo pin up girl on the front and try to decide if this is one of those bottles of liquor that have been handed around and regifted because it’s just plain nasty. I love rum, but Sailor Jerry looks to cute to be good. The story has a glossy Disney-esque spin put on it–the rum is actually named after a real guy, Norman Collins, who did tattoos for sailors in the Pacific for decades. Which is why the bottles have the classic old WWII pin up girl art on them. (Once you finish off the bottle, you’ll notice there’s one on the front of the label, and another lady on the inside of the front label.)
The brand actually popped up as a clothing company that honored the art that Sailor Jerry created with his tattoos. Maybe it’s odd for clothing and rum to go hand in hand, but I suppose someone decided to give it a try. Come to think of it, a lot of rappers or ‘TV celebrities’ have their own line of anything they can stick their label on, so anything goes.
Rum has a long history, usually tied to the West Indies and sailors. Being made from sugar cane, it would be plentiful in the area, and being distilled, it would travel well at sea for great lengths of time. But early rum, like early humanoids, was pretty rough, and sailors often added spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg in it to make it taste less like pickled Neanderthals.
Like any other type of alcohol, there is a wide range of qualities, styles, flavors, and variations of rums. Sailor Jerry is a nice middle-of-the-road quality and it’s spiced so it tastes of cinnamon and vanilla with maybe a hint of nutmeg. This is not a sipping rum, and you probably wouldn’t get a lot of people willing to do straight shots of it. It tends to hit your mouth with abundant flavors, like your grandmother’s purse, when you’re expecting something simpler. It’s great to mix with things though. But what to mix it with?
I have a circle of friends that don’t drink (I know, what?), so I borrowed a favorite of theirs and added Sailor Jerry. Toss 1 or 2 cups of frozen berries in a blender, top off with limeade (we swear by Simply brand), and blend until it’s a party going on in there. Pour in your desired amount of Sailor Jerry (I usually eyeball it based on the people drinking, but somewhere at 1/2 cup or so), and some fresh mint leaves. Very gently pulse the blender a few times to get the rum swirling around and the mint leaves thrashed but not minced into bits. Pour into a pitcher and top off with half again that amount of ginger ale.
There’s usually one girl that says “I can barely taste it–make it stronger next time”, and she’s usually the one in a half hour asking for some water because the room got a little swirly. Not that I’m suggesting in any way to purposefully get people drunk. But for guests who aren’t comfortable with a beer or a glass of scotch, try something fun like this. (And you can make it without rum for those guests not drinking so they don’t feel singled out.)
So now I know that Sailor Jerry is a staple on our liquor bar for impromptu gatherings and other events where beer and wine just isn’t going to cut it. It’s smoother and tastier than some of those cheap brands, and the next day you won’t feel like you went overboard and were given the kiss of life by the ship’s parrot. At least the rum won’t make you feel like that. I surely don’t know what else you get up to in your spare time at parties.