Since Mardi Gras falls in March this year, I thought it would be the perfect time to write a bit about one of my all time favorite cocktails, the Hurricane. When I think of Mardi Gras, of course I think of New Orleans. New Orleans has such a rich cocktail culture. Not just the Hurricane, but the Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, and numerous other cocktails were created there. Even one of the country’s largest bartending/cocktail conferences is held in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail. If you’ve ever been to Bourbon St. you’ve probably enjoyed a few Hurricanes while strolling along the French Quarter. Even if you don’t quite remember that night, trust me the drinks were delicious!
The Hurricane dates back to the 1940’s and was created at Pat O’Brien’s out of necessity. In order for them to order enough whiskey that they needed, their supplier required them to also take some Rum off their hands. The rum wasn’t selling as well those days. At O’Brien’s they were good at rolling with the punches and decided to create a cocktail showcasing their newly acquired inventory of rum and thus, The Hurricane was born.
The recipe has gone through some revisions over the decades. The Hurricane that we make in our Virtual Happy Hours stays true to the modern Pat O’Brien’s recipe. Where the original Hurricane only had three (3) ingredients, the modern day Hurricane has evolved into having six (6) well balanced and delicious ingredients.
1.5 oz Rum1 oz Orange Juice
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.75 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Grenadine
The other delicious tropical flavors of a Hurricane come from fresh orange juice, fresh lime juice, passion fruit syrup, and grenadine. The passion fruit is that standout signature flavor that adds a sweet, tangy, and floral note. You probably recognize grenadine as the bright red syrup that is used to make Shirley Temple’s for sugar hungry kids, but you may be surprised to know that it’s actually not a cherry flavored syrup, but rather a pomegranate syrup. As always, using fresh citrus juices is the simplest way to get the best flavors in your cocktail. In your mixology kit you’ll receive fresh oranges and limes, and we’ll juice them together when making this delicious drink!
There are so many different kinds of Rum, so which one should you use in your Hurricane? Rum is distilled from sugarcane. The difference between the light and dark varieties comes from the aging process. Dark rum starts off the same crystal clear color as light rum, and then the color comes from the spirit being then aged in oak barrels. This aging process gives the rum a bolder flavor that can stand up to lots of other ingredients. That’s why I recommend using a dark aged rum for your Hurricane. Of course you can use a clear rum, spiced rum, or even an overproof rum because this is your cocktail after all. If you’re feeling brave you can even shake your Hurricane with light rum and add a float of dark rum on the top after you’ve poured it into your glass.
Cheers, and Happy Drinking!
Chris Norkus, founder