Celebrating Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins | The Father of American Tattooing | Celebrate In Harrogate At The Pit & Banyan Bar & Kitchen!

Friday, 26 January 2018

If you're a Harrogate resident and you like a bit of rum, you may be interested to know that both The Pit and Banyan Bar & Kitchen have joined forces to celebrate Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins, the father of American old school tattooing this January. His birthday was on 14th January, so both bars will be celebrating from 14th Jan - 4th February so plenty of time to head on over and raise a toast to the father of American tattooing! 

Norman Collins was born on 12th January 1911 and he was never destined to live a middle-of-the-road life, he left home as a teenager, travelling the country by hitchhiking and train hopping. It was in Chicago where he learnt his craft, taught by Gibb 'Tatts' Thomas, paying bums in beer or cents to better hone his craft. Norman also joined the navy where he earned master's papers on every kind of vessel you could get papers for. 

When Collins mustered out of the navy, it was Honolulu where he settled. Here he had an ever growing supply of military personnel to tattoo, thanks to the Americans bombing Pearl Harbour. It was here that Norman Collins became 'Sailor Jerry' and built his legacy.

There were two distinct designs which featured heavily in 'Sailor Jerry's' designs at that time, a bloody knife through a heart with the saying 'Death Before Dishonour' and a sexy vixen in a cocktail glass surrounded by dice, cards and dollar signs. Not the kind of designs you'd show mother back home, but they signified what was happening at the time and is once reason why Jerry's work became so popular. 

Jerry himself was heavily influenced by the Japanese who were at the time the most proficient and sophisticated tattoo artists at that time. He was the first artist to engage in regular contact with these artists, sharing tattoo tracings and techniques - by doing this Jerry was able to create his own Japanese/American fusion designs which he became synonymous for throughout his career and indeed his life. 

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was created after many hours spent researching maritime rums - the all natural spices and flavours give the rum a smooth taste which is characterised by top notes of vanilla and cinnamon. It is the spices alone which is responsible for the distinctive character, smoothness and versatility of this rum. 

Just like Sailor Jerry was a master tattooist - all of his tattoos were nautically create - even the rigging on his clipper ship tattoos! So is the way this rum was produced, by using only the very best Caribbean rums, the ones which are used are blended together to create the ideal base for their unmatched recipe of natural spices. This higher proof rum results in a uniquely bold, smooth and balanced liquid - perfect in your favourite cocktails!

At Banyan Bar and Kitchen the featured cocktails are The Rose - a floral twist on the classic spiced punch, The Anchor (available at both bars) is a sailor's serve of Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum, Tia Maria, Espresso, caramel syrup and a secret home-made salt solution - so you'll be ready to the high seas after this one! Or perhaps a fiery hit is more your poison? Try the Spiced Stowaway at The Pit

If you prefer to stay in, then Sailor Jerry's Limited Edition bottle is available from Sainsbury's priced at £20.29. Inspired by Jerry's bold, badass and colourful tattoo designs, the gloss black bottle highlights two iconic Jerry's designs and symbols from his flash artwork collection; the eagle and the rose. 

Let me know if you try any of these cocktails or indeed buy yourself a bottle I'd love to see your creations! 

Love, Sarah

*Bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum sent to me for the purposes of this post. All opinions my own.

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