How many bottles of Sailor Jerry’s have I emptied since I went on a rum kick a few years ago? A dozen, probably, at least. We’re all used to the beautiful tattoo flash hula lady on the front label:But did you know that there’s a lady in the bottle? There is, printed on the inside of the front label and visible once the bottle is empty:It’s a gorgeous burlesque queen, drawn, one is lead to assume, by the original Sailor Jerry (Norman Collins) who was a tattoo artist who worked in Honolulu before, during and after World War II. His drawings are really beautiful, combining traditional American nautical tattoo subjects with Asian style coloring and bold linework. This style of drawing has a strong connection to early newspaper comics and the first comic books, and as such it really resonates with me, and with many cartoonists who still favor actual ink on paper.She’s probably been inside every bottle of my favorite rum, and I’ve never noticed her before. Or is she a new innovation in packaging?
For the uninitiated, Jerry’s is a potent spiced rum with a strong vanilla note and hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and burnt sugar; it’s darned tasty by itself with a little lime juice and an ice cube, or mixed with lime and coke or lime and ginger. Think “what Captain Morgan would be like if Captain Morgan was actually good.” Read more about the real Sailor Jerry and see more drawings and tattoo photos (and get some cocktail recipes if you need them) on the Sailor Jerry website.