The indomitable spirit of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins is carried on through Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

Text by    Harrison Patino ||    Image courtesy of    Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Text by Harrison Patino || Image courtesy of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

“Keep them fighting, it’s the way that Yin Yang functions—if there is no opposition of forces there is no evolution of life!”—Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins to protégé Don Ed Hardy

Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins is something of a patron saint of Honolulu’s Chinatown. The famed tattoo artist who had a shop on Smith Street pioneered a style so influential that ink enthusiasts the world over proudly bear his iconic marks. An exacting craftsman, Collins’ tattoos were bold and precise; even the riggings on his tattoos of clipper ships were nautically accurate.

Crafting its rums to the same standard held by its namesake is Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The brand has gone global, preaching a gospel of uncompromising, old-fashioned Americana, with guys like Sailor Jerry brand ambassador Paul Monahan delivering the sermon.

From what Monahan says about his title and the responsibilities entailed, it doesn’t sound like such a bad gig. “Essentially, I do all I can, in many forms, to educate and inspire all different audiences on Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins,” Monahan says. “It puts me traveling around the world bartending, going to music festivals, car shows, and anything Americana where there are good vibes.”

Monahan’s job has taken him from Bangkok to Berlin, visiting everything from dive bars to tattoo parlors, to share his love for the Sailor Jerry brand with locals and expats the world over. “What attracts people to us is how we find the right people, make friends with like-minded people, and carry the conversations on for years to come,” he says. “We look at where cool shit is going on and help build more cool shit for people to enjoy.”

A career bartender and lover of spirits in general, Monahan explains that the brand and its appeal go far beyond the spiced rum named for the famed Hotel Street seaman. “What I hope people take away is a piece of history,” he says. “I want people to understand how Norman Collins achieved his stake in the tattoo world with his craft and appreciate the story of how the Sailor Jerry brand has grown into what it is today.”

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