Hurricane (Cocktail) Warning

Joined Feb 13, 2008
The "Hurricane" cocktail seems likely to have been invented at Pat O'Brien's, a drinking establishment in the French Quarter of the Crescent City, and is the (dare I say it) traditional, Nawlins, mardi-gras drink. (Well at least one of them. The mardi-gras (1) and carnivals (2) I've been to have been less "what you've drunk," than "how drunk you are." We've all made mistakes, haven't we? I don't actually remember this, but a friend has pictures of someone resembling me, but drunker, running away from a herd of cattle during the Festival de San Fermin in Pamplona. But let's not wander too far. )

While there's no official mardi gras cocktail (is there?), the Hurricane is sufficiently identified with Fat Tuesday celebrations to feature on many pre-printed invitations. For instance: Hurricane Party Invitation Cardstock

The origin myth (see wiki, et al) has it the cocktail was invented because of a Scotch shortage in New Orleans during the forties and a relative plentitude of rum. Who knows? That could be part of it.

However, mixologists will notice the Hurricane bears a lot of similarity to Don the Beachcomber's version of "Navy Grog," first served in 1941, which also contains a blend of rums, citrus, and sweetener. And, the Navy Grog was already sweeping the country at the time the Hurricane was invented. My guess, without discounting the relative ease of obtaining rum, is that the Hurricane originated as a play on the Navy Grog. Quien sabe?

Whichever came first, the Hurricane was popular enough to get its own glass (shaped like... wait for it... a hurricane lantern) and the Navy Grog did not. But perhaps the glass was part of the impetus in creating and naming the drink. Again, quien sabe?


Serves: 1
Difficulty: Not bad at first, but gets more complicated as the party goes on.

1-1/2 oz each white and dark rums, or 3 oz amber (aha!) rum
1-1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1-1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 tbs passion fruit syrup (may substitute 3 oz passion fruit juice or Hawaiian Punch)
1 tsp bartender's (superfine) sugar
1 tsp grenadine

Cherries, oranges

Hurricane (duh)

Fill a shaker (no ice yet) with all the cocktail ingredients except the grenadine. Cover, and shake until sugar is completely dissolved.

Add the grenadine, stir to mix.

Add ice, cover and shake until shaker is too cold to hold.

Partially fill a hurricane glass with ice, strain the cocktail over it, then add enough extra ice to fill the glass.

Garnish with an orange slice on the rim, and at least one cherry on top. It's a pink drink fergawd's sake. Don't feel embarassed about using lots of garbage (garnish).

Here's an image of a small "hurricane" glass, I'm sure you've seen them in a cocktail lounge near you (while researching glassware, no doubt) Libbey Hurricane 15 Ounce Glass |2 DZ| HUR-1-CL at Instawares. The big ones run, typically, 23 oz.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

PS. The actual ingredient list is very close to (supposedly) Pat O'Brien's original, although mine is a big lighter and makes use of a standard shot glass for darn near everything. But the words are mine, so here comes the usual recipe anodyne: This recipe is original with me. You may share if you like, but only on condition of attributing it to me, Boar D. Laze.

PPS. This time the French, laissez le bon temps rouler, is correct and grammatical -- just not quite the native, New Orleans' version. Apologies to Thi and Bou.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Hurricanes are very popular with the Mardi Gras tourist trade, that's for sure. But the "official" drink of New Orleans is the Sazerac cocktail, and has been for almost 200 years.

The Sazerac is also said to be the first cocktail invented in America.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I just wrote about Hurricanes on my blog the other day. I agree with a lot of your statements including the fact that the Hurricane comes very close to mimicing a number of other drinks. I don't think it's creation was much of a stretch of the imagination, but however it was orginally created, it is darn good.

Unfortunately, like so many other things it has become twisted and messed with over the years. You now find "hurricane" recipes that include vodka, gin, and amaretto, in addition to the rum. I prefer the original recipe, of which yours is almost dead on, for its simplicity and because it really showcases the rum. Personally I always use a golden or amber rum for making this drink. White rum just lacks any complexity while I find dark rum just a little too assertive and it can easily overpower the passionfruit.
Joined Feb 13, 2008

Of the 3,047 things I already knew I liked about you, you just added another. Good taste in rum.

I feel exactly the same way about using light and dark rums -- at least those you usually find -- as you do for mixing a rum/fruit-punch type drink.

Flor de Cana Gold (aged 4 years) would be ideal. It's got enough going on to make the drink interesting, without being overwhelming or too good to waste in a mixed drink. Plus, it isn't too expensive. Babancourt wouldn't be a bad choice, but it's getting tres cher -- like Appleton.

If you did want to mix a light with a dark, you could do worse than Flor de Cana silver and Brugal. Brugal brings some sophistication without being too expensive.

Any rum you'd like to suggest?

And thanks for the compliment on the recipe. I lightened it up just a little to make it more appropriate for mixed company, and for those who drink for other reasons than "fire for effect."

RPMacMurphy has some very definite and interesting mixological ideas too. With luck we'll hear from him and a lot of other people too. We don't talk cocktails very often on CT, and it's a fun topic.

Getting back to the Hurricane, it's an excellent drink at any time; and those strong Fat Tuesday associations make it doubly interesting as Carnival approaches.



Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Barbancourt is always a good choice as is Appleton, though it has become somewhat trendy and thus the price has gone up considerably (BTW I have a bottle of Barbancourt that a friend brought back for me. I added about 1/4 of a vanilla pod to it resealed it and well kind of forgot about it. Found it not too long ago, 5 years later-man it was good!!!). Cockspur and some of the older El Dorado's would make good choices also. There are just too many good rums out there. Too bad so many people never look beyond Bacardi or Capt. Morgan.

I have to admit, I also have a soft spot for Gosling's Black Seal, especially in a Dark n Stormy. It might not be the most refined of rums, but it sure packs some flavor!
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