Ashley Thomas first crossed our radar when we stumbled across this video—a great example of what brand ambassadors are doing with their time, now that ambassing is near impossible.
That first encounter turned into a deep dive into Thomas’s world. This Harley-Davidson-riding, thoroughly inked representative of the Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum brand cruises around the country making tiki cocktails of all sorts, sometimes setting them on fire. For now, she’s making the best of things with an Insta series: #hunkerinthebunker.
Originally from Connecticut and now residing in San Diego, Thomas is already a veteran of the beverage industry. She has shaken cocktails for Alice Cooper. In a golf cart. Bartended at Sturgis. Served drinks in a hot air balloon. It’s like that.
She turned off the blender for us, and answered a few quick questions.
What’s the most fun thing about working with a dark rum?
The most fun part of working on a rum brand is that rum IS fun! It’s vacation, it’s a beach, it’s a bbq. Rum is vacation in a bottle.
What is the state of tiki in the U.S. today?
Today, the new normal. If you asked me that question months ago I would say it’s peaking with new and innovative tiki bars. But for now I would say tiki is still here—but in a new way. To-go tiki cocktails and home bartenders are making tiki drinks to bring some fun to their bunkers. To take them back to that beach vacation or dark tiki bar.
Before quarantine, what was your typical day like?
My day would probably start on an airplane. Flying somewhere rad to visit bars and hang out with the locals. Great drinks, great food, awesome people.
What do you always have at home, for drink making?
Fresh citrus. No matter what mixers you may have kicking around, you can make a lot of great drinks with just some fresh citrus and sugar.
Do you have a favorite video you’ve made?
As of right now probably the White Russian video. I think we are all channeling our inner Dude right now.
Follow Ashley on Instagram @theoriginalashe