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Shiver Me Timbers

Explore rum's surprising maritime origins with Sailor Jerry

As recently as 27 years ago, it was common to issue sailors with daily rum rations. The first nation to abolish the practice was the US, which did so in 1862, but New Zealand upheld the practice until 1990.


At Sailor Jerry, the rum recipe is based on the tradition of sailors improving the flavour of their on-board rum rations. Generally, there were two ways to take the edge off rum. One was to age the liquid in wooden casks, which sailors rarely bothered with. The other way was to blend in spices. This is what most sailors did and it's what Sailor Jerry still does today.


Sailor Jerry was an exacting craftsman. His tattoos were precise, bold and flawless. Even the riggings on his clipper ship tattoos were nautically accurate. That’s why Sailor Jerry rum is crafted to a similar standard, painstakingly sourcing the best Caribbean rums to make Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The ones that make the cut are blended together to create the ideal base for an unmatched recipe of natural spices.


Sailor Jerry higher proof spirit is historically accurate. In fact, the term “proof” comes from the method whereby sailors could assure their rum rations weren't being watered down. The ship's captain would ladle out a sample from the day's rum barrel in front of the men. He'd douse it with gunpowder, then give it a spark — if the rum was full strength, the powder ignited, giving sailors “proof” of the integrity of their rum.

Staying true to the old-school tradition of spicing high proof rum results in a uniquely bold, smooth and balanced liquid – perfect in your favourite cocktails.

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