Iced tea is the essential drink of summer for me. I brew a pitcher almost every day, adding a quarter cup of sugar while the water's hot so it mixes properly, like my mother taught me. Not too sweet, like sweet tea in the South, but with just a hint of sweetness. No lemon or mint needed unless the notion strikes me.
On my last trip to New Orleans (which was too long ago!), my bestie K and I had drinks at a touristy place in the Quarter. I couldn't help myself - it was hot, and the place had its French doors wide open and the ceiling fans were whirring away invitingly. That was where I was first introduced to Sailor Jerry rum and it's been my go-to rum ever since. "Sailor Jerry" was the moniker for enlisted navy seaman and tattoo legend Norman Collins, and the bottle features a few of his iconic works. In fact, this year is the 100th anniversary of his birth, and the company has put out three limited-edition bottles to celebrate his legacy.
Now, I don't know anything about tattoos, not actually having one myself. Nor do I know much about the navy, other than the fact that my grandfather served in it years ago. But rum and I go way back, and this Caribbean rum is nicely spiced with hints of caramel that go perfectly with your favorite mixers - coke, ginger ale, juice, or in my case, semi-sweet iced tea. I call it Rummin' Tea and it is my favorite thing to enjoy on hot summer evenings spent on my porchswing watching life go by .
1 part Sailor Jerry rum
2 parts slightly sweetened iced tea
Combine ingredients in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with lemon or mint if desired.