Inspired by the American tattoo legend Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, Sailor Jerry Spiced is a Caribbean rum blended with 100% natural spices and flavours. Sailor Jerry Spiced embodies the independent spirit and unapologetic attitude of the rum’s namesake, who was noted for saying “My work speaks for itself.”
With that said, we had a chat with Zachary Connor de Git, William Grant & Sons Regional Portfolio Ambassador of Southeast Asia and Third Party Markets, helming its portfolio of mixable spirits –Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Hendrick’s Gin and Reyka Vodka in particular.
An Australian native and self-professed Singaporean, Zach discovered his penchant for bartending at the age of 17, and the Australian Bartender Magazine gave him a nod of recognition with a nomination for “Bartender of the Year” in 2010 for his knack of concocting some truly great tasting cocktails.
Where do you start when creating a new drink?
I think it varies depending on my mood. Sometimes, I’ll see a quote or a certain ingredient. I once did a whole cocktail menu based on songs, but I based the menu on songs not many people would know of.
Who do you experiment on before you finalise a cocktail?
If I’m playing around in the bar, I will always be talking to my customers. My main focus when I’m working is customer interaction. For example, they will be talking about something they like and I will say, “Hey I’ve got this idea for a cocktail. I haven’t had anyone try it before, so be honest and tell me how you feel about it.”
What is the best thing about what you do?
I think it’s the interaction and the satisfaction you get from that. Being able to showcase the brand and get people excited about what you’re doing essentially, creating advocacy for Sailor Jerry is really really exciting for me.
What is the worst thing about what you do?
I don’t think there is a bad thing, but sometimes you get a little bit tired. There will be difficult times but it usually comes with good times as well. For me, it’s like a ratio of 95% good times and 5% bad times.
Tell us what’s it like being an Ambassador of Sailor Jerry.
It’s was a big dream of mine, I applied for this job when I was 21. They came back to me and said you’re way too young, come back in maybe six to seven years. So, I just continued working on my craft, working on bartending, travelling around the world and getting my name out there. Then eventually, they approached me and I was really happy about that. I get to meet people from all around the world and they surprise me in certain ways, whether it be me bartending or just a random conversation with a couple of customers in a bar.
What is the ultimate cocktail that always go well with the ladies?
It varies. I always put a drink on the menu called the Yorkshire Ripper because it’s the lady killer and all girls always love it. Something a little bit more bright, fun and exciting. Sometimes, there will be champagne in it or more fruit driven. I never really stick to one, I like to keep pushing boundaries and try something different. Maybe even twisting it slightly and making a whisky cocktail which a girl actually liked. It’s the greatest thing getting satisfaction when they have something they don’t usually like.
What is the trend in mixology nowadays?
It goes up and down. It’s like fashion, trends come and go. From tiki mugs to extravagant garnishes, even rum and gin is coming back in trend.
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