By SARAH FEENEY, Scout for Sailor Jerry
Sailor Jerry is about to launch in Brazil and I’m in São Paulo to help out. Apart from the emergency bottle that’s in my suitcase there is still no Sailor Jerry rum in this town. Our men in Brazil Tomas and Leandro tell me there is a bottle down to its last inch in a new bar called ‘Underdog’. The bar’s owner, Santiago smuggled it back from his recent trip to Hawaii. I set off with the intention of going straight there but get side-stepped and visit a café first for coffee and a plate of glorious Brazilian cheesy-bread-balls; ‘Pao de Querjo’. Arriving at Underdog I find the mythical bottle surrounded by empty miniatures the contents of which had been used to temporarily top-up its depleted rum levels. It’s a sad but common site.
Santiago and I get chit-chatting and I decide I’m a bit jealous. As well as having opened this place, which fits about 20 people of which most are friends, he plays in two metal bands, has a clothing company and when he’s done with all that stuff he heads off surfing. As well as his girlfriend, he has four dogs which is the thing I think am most jealous of. He’s also handsome and a really nice guy. (Don’t hate him.) He starts cooking us something amazing on his grill and serves it with his famous homemade BBQ sauce. I’m too polite to say I’m already stuffed on cheesy bread so eat. Again.
Santiago tells me Underdog is a different kind of bar / eating place than São Paulo is used to. It’s a mix of punk and red-neck stuff from the states (of which Santiago is a big fan) mixed up with some Argentina culture where he was born. It’s going well and Santiago feels he has a good thing going catering for people who share the same passions as his. His clothing company ‘Weird’ is pretty much an excuse to do the other things that they do and is an environment for his friends; tattoo artists, skaters, surf boarders and bands to all come together to create and to have parties in the yard behind the printing room. Santiago plans to make the Weird company get ‘weirder’ and the bar to have more drinks, more food, and to be open more hours.
A couple of weeks later, a consignment of Sailor Jerry finally arrive in Brazil and bottles make their way to the bars of São Paulo. Underdog is one of the first to receive and the bar regulars no longer have to get by on empty bottle fumes alone. To mark the occasion everyone who drank from the first ‘legitimate’ bottle of Sailor Jerry signed the label. That bottle now sits proudly on the shelf alongside dozens of full bottles instead of a sad old empty Hawaii bottle and some depleted miniatures. RIP sad old Hawaii bottle.
So if you find yourself in town, head over to meet Santiago and tell him Jerry sent you. I can guarantee you’ll find him - and a full (ish) bottle of Sailor Jerry most days at the address below. He’s a good guy, buy him a drink.
‘Underdog Meat & Beers’ Rua João moura , 541, São Paulo, Brazil