Sailor Jerry launches search for nation’s favourite bartender

Sailor Jerry Bartenders Day

A campaign has been launched by Sailor Jerry rum to encourage the public to show more appreciation for bar staff, including a search for the nation’s favourite bartender.

It is seeking to gain 100,000 signatures for a petition to bring to Parliament calling for a Bartender Appreciation Day (BAD) to be recognised as an official holiday in the UK – a day off for bartenders.

BAD, which is already celebrated with events in the US, Finland, Australia and France, is being promoted via It is being supported on social media with the hashtag #bartendersday and via @SailorJerryUK on Twitter.

The website is also hosting the search for the Nation’s Favourite Bartender, where the public and the trade can nominate and vote for bartenders who they admire. It need not be just for making great drinks but for service, banter and all-round good hospitality skills.

The bartender with the most votes on August 31 will win a trip to Austin, Texas, including a visit to the South By Southwest film and music festival in March 2015 which will feature the Sailor Jerry House pop-up space.

They will also win a Sailor Jerry Presents party for themselves and their friends and supporters in their bar. The top 20 bartenders will also receive a limited-edition Sailor Jerry cocktail kit.

A leader board at will be constantly updated with the top 50 bartenders. To be nominated, bartenders do not have to work at a bar that stocks Sailor Jerry.

Sailor Jerry UK brand ambassador EmmaLi Stenhouse will be visiting cities throughout the UK to say thank you to bartenders and reward them with random acts of kindness such as a free taxi ride home, pizza deliveries and Sailor Jerry clothing.

A Sailor Jerry BAD promotional team will also be raising awareness of both the petition and the Nation’s Favourite Bartender in Manchester, Brighton, Bristol and London.

EmmaLi said: “We are getting people to recognise what bartenders do and the hard work that they put in. You don’t have to be a cocktail bartender – you just have to be good at what you do.”

The campaign follows research commissioned for Sailor Jerry which found that half of bartenders feel under-appreciated by UK drinkers. Over 60% said the worst consumer habits were waving cash and clicking fingers to get served.

The research found that 70% of the UK public think that good service makes a good bartender but only 1% of UK drinkers tip bartenders. A quarter of bartenders and a third of UK drinkers would like to see a queuing system introduced at the bar.

Riana Gallagher, senior brand manager for Sailor Jerry at First Drinks, said: “At Sailor Jerry, we value the skill and craft of bartending and think it’s about time the frontline men and women felt some appreciation for their damn-hard work.”

She added that the campaign fitted in with the ethos of the legendary tattoo artist who inspired the launch of Sailor Jerry rum, its name and its branding.

“Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins values of craftsmanship, independence and originality are at the heart of everything we do and, with this in mind, BAD and The Nation’s Favourite Bartender have been launched to recognise and reward bartenders for their role in the drinks trade.”

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