Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

Let the good times roll with this boozy Mardi Gras classic.

Hurricane Cocktails

Hurricane Cocktails

Hurricane Cocktails are the drink of choice for Mardi Gras revelers.

Hurricane Cocktails are the drink of choice for Mardi Gras revelers.

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The origin of the Hurricane, a Mardi Gras cocktail favorite, is disputed, but many claim it originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the iconic Pat O’Brien’s bar. According to legend, the drink was created by the bar owner when O’Brien was forced by liquor distributors to purchase a large order of rum before they would provide him with the whiskey that was popular with his customers. To put his newly-acquired surplus to use, he mixed rum with sweet passion fruit juice and tart lemon juice, naming the concoction after the tall glass in which it was served (which resembled a hurricane lamp).

What started as an effort to move merchandise has grown to become a beloved Mardi Gras tradition. You can still drop by Pat O’Brien’s and enjoy the sweet and potent cocktail at its birthplace, but Hurricanes are now served throughout the French Quarter and at Mardi Gras celebrations everywhere. The recipe has been adapted over the years. Grenadine is now a common ingredient and passion fruit juice is often replaced by inexpensive and brightly colored Hawaiian Punch. High-proof rum is frequently used, giving the Hurricane a reputation for packing an unexpected wallop.

Wherever it is celebrated, no Mardi Gras party is complete without the drink that has delighted French Quarter revelers for over seventy years. Passion fruit juice can be found in specialty stores or online, but Hawaiian Punch can be used as a substitute in this recipe. It’s not quite as tasty, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Although Hurricanes taste great even when served in a plastic cup (a portable solution in the Quarter where the party migrates throughout the streets), served in the glass from which its name is derived, it adds a New Orleans authenticity to the occasion.

Served by the glass or pitcher, Hurricanes pack a punch in more ways that one. If you’d like to provide a non-alcoholic alternative for guests who do not drink, replace the rum with pineapple juice.

Hurricane Cocktail

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit syrup
  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • Orange slice for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) together with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and strain into a hurricane glass or poco grande glass filled with ice.

Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

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