19 Apr Daniel “Gravy” Thomas
Brand Ambassador, Sailor Jerry – East/Central & South
As the South and Central U.S. Brand Ambassador for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Daniel “Gravy” Thomas has spent the past 3 years traveling the country, sharing the story of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, the undisputed father of old-school tattooing, and the rum that bears his name. Well versed in storytelling through one-of-a-kind event activations, art, craftsmanship, music, and mixology, Gravy’s role as a Sailor Jerry Brand Ambassador is a natural extension of his own life and passions. Just like the legendary tattoo artist, Gravy lives life on his own terms.
Born in South New Jersey and raised in the art and music scene in Philadelphia, Gravy graduated from Wingate University and quickly began putting his passion for entertaining to use in the Philly event scene. Gravy produced nightlife activations and concert series at some of Philly’s most acclaimed venues, managed bands and promoted their performances and events, and worked on the productions of national campaigns such as MTV’s Rock the Vote movement, the X-Games, and Nike Jam sessions. His ability to keep event productions “running smooth” combined with his love of open faced turkey sandwiches earned Gravy his nickname.
A natural entertainer, Gravy served and impressed guests as a bartender at The Barbary in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia before taking roles working on national activations in the beverage and spirits industries. It was also in Philly where Gravy was first introduced to Sailor Jerry and Norman Collins when he started working at the Sailor Jerry Clothing Store assisting the production of the their in-store concert events. Captivated by Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins’ passions the rum that embodied his lifestyle, Gravy officially signed on as the New Jersey Sailor Jerry Brand Ambassador in 2013 before expanding his role as the East Division Brand Ambassador and most recently, the South and Central U.S. Brand Ambassador.
Gravy’s passion for the brand and his creativity in creating inimitable events can be felt in the experiences he creates to celebrate Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and the legacy of Norman Collins. He has brought the brand to life at iconic events such as SXSW, Afropunk Fest, and Tales of the Cocktail. Gravy feels that it is his ability to communicate Norman Collins’ legacy that ties him so deeply to the man behind the rum. Collins’ was a radio host, a poet, an artist, and more and Gravy draws on these passions to continue to communicate to and entertain his audience. From shaking up innovative rum cocktails to getting tattooed at his own events, Gravy lives his life outside the lines.
When Gravy is not traveling the nation on behalf of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, he enjoys experimenting with new cocktails recipes and using ingredients that play off the natural blend of spices found in Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and making music at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is a father and husband.
Try Gravy’s favorite Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum recipe at home:
Ginger Apple Cooler
- 1 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
- ½ part ginger syrup
- ¾ part apple juice
- ¼ part fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ parts soda water
In empty mixing glass, measure Sailor Jerry. Add ginger syrup, apple juice and fresh lemon juice. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled highball glass and fill with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with candied ginger.