Sailor Jerry lovers worldwide celebrate the legacy of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins as June 12th marks the anniversary of his death. An independent spirit, Sailor Jerry acquired his nickname from his stint in the navy as a sailor. He then developed his passion for tattoo art by adopting a boldly lined style that blends American design with Asiatic coloring. He was noted for saying, “My work speaks for itself.” Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum honors the innovative tattoo artist as an authentic and premium spiced rum. Rums from the finest Caribbean distilleries are blended with 100% natural spices including ginger, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. The rum’s impressive 92 proof and traditional standards of craftsmanship align with Sailor Jerry’s values. To honor this icon, we share highlights from his life along with refreshing Sailor Jerry recipes to usher in summer greatness.


  1. Born “Norman Collins” on January 14th, 1911 in Reno, Nevada.
  2. The nickname “Sailor Jerry” was born out of Norman’s experience as a sailor in the Navy (enlisted at 19) and the name “Jerry” came from the name of the family mule (to which Norman had a very similar disposition).
  3. First began tattooing as a teenager using hand-poking techniques.  Learned how to use a tattoo machine while apprenticing with Chicago artist “Tatts” Thomas.
  4. After his stint in the Navy, Sailor Jerry settled in Oahu, Hawaii, where he lived and tattooed until his death on June 12th 1973.
  5. Mentored notable artists such as Don “Ed” Hardy and Mike Malone.
  6. His innovative style and constant quest for knowledge led him to be the first artist to sterilize needles and embrace bold color (first to use purple pigment).

Featured Recipe – Lola

2 parts Sailor Jerry
1 part sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill with Cherry cola / cola

Glass: highball

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled highball and garnish with an orange wedge.