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Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

Drinking a Hurricane cocktail at Pat O’Brien’s is a rite of passage for first-time visitors to New Orleans. However, you can craft a better version of the fruity cocktail at home no matter where you live. Read on for the full story and recipe.

Hurricane Cocktail with Yellow Background

Born in a city known for its sophisticated cocktail culture, the Hurricane stands out from the pack.

For starters, it’s popular with hoards of tourists who join the nightly party at Pat O’Brien’s, the bar where the Hurricane was invented.

Hurricane Cocktail with Blue Background
The Hurricane’s ingredients come together to create a party in a glass.

Then there’s the Hurricane’s potency. With ingredients like dark rum, light rum and three different juices, the fruity, boozy Hurricane is dangerously easy to drink.

Some might say too easy.

Hurricane Cocktail with Red Background
Is a Hurricane cocktail really a Hurricane cocktail if it’s not in a Hurricane glass?

And, finally, the Hurricane is a cocktail that literally has its own glass. Big enough to hold at least 20 ounces and cylindrical in shape, the Hurricane’s glass is as famous as the cocktail itself.

What Is a Hurricane Cocktail?

Hurricane Cocktail with Black Background 2
It’s easy to craft and drink Hurricane cocktails at home.

The popular version of the Hurricane is big, boozy and fruity-tooty.

Tourists sip the cocktail in colorful plastic cups as they stumble around the French Quarter. Frat boys down Hurricanes by the dozen at Pat O’Brien’s during Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve, Jazz Fest or just about any time of the year.

It would be easy to discount that version of the Hurricane made with a sugar-filled mix and cheap rum. But that’s not the original Hurricane nor the one that we adore.

Hurricane Cocktail for Two on Ledge
One Hurricane cocktail is big enough to share. We shared this one at home.

While we don’t follow the original Hurricane recipe when we craft Hurricanes at home, we channel the cocktail’s original spirit by using two rums and as many natural ingredients as possible. The resulting potent potable is refreshingly sweet, surprisingly complex and a pleasure to imbibe.

History of the Hurricane Cocktail

Pat O'Briens Bar in New Orleans
Located in an 18th century building, Pat O’Brien’s is the historic bar where the Hurricane cocktail was invented. Its main bar pictured here has more than 500 beer steins hanging from the ceiling – a feat in itself.

Pat O’Brien (the man) originally crafted the Hurricane in New Orleans during the 1940s. Almost a century later, the red rum drink is just as popular today at Pat O’Brien’s (the bar) as when sailors originally slurped the drink in glasses shaped like hurricane lamps.

Records reveal that O’Brien’s original Hurricane cocktail had just three ingredients – gold rum, lemon juice and Fassionola syrup. The entrepreneurial New Orleans barman apparently starting making the iconic drink in an effort to use up excess bottles of rum. Whether serving them in hurricane lamp-shaped glasses was a stroke of marketing genius or dumb luck remains a mystery.

Hurricane at Pat OBriens in New Orleans
We sipped this Hurricane cocktail while admiring the flaming fountain at Pat O’Brien’s.

The modern rendition of the Hurricane sold at Pat O’Brien’s isn’t what it used to be. Frassinola syrup made with a melange of fruit isn’t exactly easy to find these days. The bar crafts Hurricanes en mass using a proprietary mix that’s for sale at the bar as well as online.

We say go to the bar but don’t buy the mix. And don’t stay too long. The experience involves lounging in an outdoor courtyard with a view of a multi-colored flaming fountain so it’s not all bad. Plus, drinking a mass produced Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane will motivate you to craft a more classic Hurricane cocktail at home which isn’t bad at all.

Discover the most iconic New Orleans cocktails as well as the city’s most iconic bars. Then explore the best Mardi gras cocktails.

Hurricane Ingredients

Hurricane Cocktail Ingredients
Our Hurricane cocktail recipe has 10 ingredients including the two garnishes and ice cubes. They’re all pictured here except for the ice which is chilling in the freezer.

Our Hurricane recipe includes a list of ingredients that should be easy to source with one possible exception. Here’s the full list:

  • Dark Rum
  • Light Rum
  • Passion Fruit Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Grenadine
  • Simple Syrup
  • Orange Slice (garnish)
  • Maraschino Cherry (garnish)
  • Ice Cubes

Not everybody can easily find fresh passion fruit or even passion fruit juice and that’s okay. Another option is to buy passion fruit purée or passion fruit syrup.

Buy a bottle of passion fruit syrup from Amazon if you can’t find this key ingredient where you live.

Scooped Passion Fruit
Making fresh passion fruit juice was easier than we expected.

Since we have easy access to fresh passion fruit, we chose to make fresh passion fruit juice with a hand blender. This extra step took us about five minutes and involved removing the pulp (seeds and all) from the skin, adding water, blending, straining and adding a bit of simple syrup.

The result was tasty and surprisingly earthy. Using fresh juice made a noticeable difference. However, purée and syrup are are both valid options if you don’t have access to fresh passion fruit or if you’re not inspired to make passion fruit juice at home.

Dark Rum and Light Rum
Two rums are better than one in our Hurricane cocktail recipe.

Our Hurricane cocktail recipe includes two liquors and they’re both rums.

For the light rum, we used Bacardi Carta Blanca since that’s what we have in our liquor cabinet. Distilled in Puerto Rico, this popular rum has a 37.5% ABV.

However, we bought a bottle of Appleton Estate Reserve Blend specifically for this recipe. With more complex flavors, the dark Jamaican rum has a 40% ABV. We’ll be sipping this bottle of rum for a while.

Buy bottles of light rum and/or dark rum from Drizly or Total Wine if you live in the US.

Pouring Grenadine for Clover Club Cocktail
Monin’s grenadine is a featured ingredient in various cocktails including the classic Clover Club.

Monin produces our preferred grenadine in France. The company doesn’t add any artificial colors or flavors to its bright red pomegranate syrup. It’s the next best thing to using grenadine made from scratch.

Buy a bottle of Monin grenadine syrup from Amazon.

How to Craft a Hurricane Cocktail

Hurricane Cocktail Mise en Place
All of the Hurricane cocktail’s ingredients and bar tools just barely fit on the cutting board that we use as a cocktail work station.

Once you gather the ingredients, crafting a Hurricane cocktail should take you less than five minutes. Using the following bar tools will speed the process:

You can improvise if you’re missing any of these bar tools. For example, you can use a small angled measuring cup instead of a jigger.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Measuring Dark Rum for Hurricane Cocktail Recipe
Measuring the ingredients is the first step in our Hurricane cocktail recipe.

The first step is to measure the the two rums, three juices, grenadine and simple syrup. We use a Japanese jigger for these and other measurements to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.

Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pouring Grenadine into Shaker for Hurricane Cocktail Recipe
Pouring the liquids into a shaker is the second step and when the cocktail starts to take shape.

Pour the liquids directly into your cocktail shaker as you measure each. We use a Boston Shaker for this and other recipes since it doesn’t leak and is easy to clean.

Buy a Boston Shaker from Amazon if you don’t have a cocktail shaker or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Hurricane Cocktail Recipe in Shaker with Ice
Once you add ice to the shaker, it’s time to shake things up.

Add ice and shake for 20 seconds.

This step will both combine and chill the ingredients.

Straining a Hurricane Cocktail
The Hurricane cocktail’s color reveals itself as you pour it into a Hurricane glass.

Strain the cocktail into a Hurricane glass.

Add an orange slice and a maraschino cherry as garnish.

Crafted Hurricane Cocktail
Hooray! Crafting a Hurricane cocktail is easy and quick. Plus, the finished cocktail is a beauty.

While you could hypothetically use a highball glass instead of a Hurricane glass, the cocktail just won’t be the same. When it comes to this particular New Orleans cocktail, the drink and the glass are a package deal.

Buy a Hurricane glass if you don’t have one in your bar. Better yet, buy a set so that you don’t have to drink alone.

Hurricane Alternatives

Hurricane Cocktail with Black Background 3
Warning – You probably won’t need any alternatives once you craft a tasty Hurricane cocktail at home.

We empathize if you can’t find easily find passion fruit juice or if you simply want to experiment with your bottles of rum. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Craft a Daiquiri with light rum, lime juice and sugar.
  • Craft a Mai Tai cocktail with dark rum, light rum, orange curaçao, lime juice and orgeat syrup.
  • Craft a Mojito with light rum, lime juice, sugar, mint and soda water.
  • Craft a Zombie cocktail with four rums and a laundry list of other ingredients.

Hurricane FAQs

Where was the Hurricane invented?

The Hurricane was invented in New Orleans.

What New Orleans bar is most associated with the Hurricane?

Pat O’Brien’s is the bar most associated with the Hurricane. This bar is located in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

What are the ingredients in a Hurricane?

Dark Rum, Light Rum, Passion Fruit Juice, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Grenadine, Simple Syrup, Orange Slice (garnish), Maraschino Cherry (garnish) and Ice Cubes

Is the Hurricane shaken or stirred?

The Hurricane is shaken, not stirred.

What type of glass is best for the Hurricane?

We like to serve this cocktail in a hurricane glass and you should do the same.

Hurricane Recipe

Hurricane Cocktail with White Background

Hurricane Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Hurricane cocktail is big, boozy and fruity-tooty. If made right, it can also be surprisingly complex. Make one at home with two rums, four juices, grenadine and simple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • orange peel
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Combine white rum, dark rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine and simple syrup a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds until the drink is properly chilled and blended.
  3. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice.
  4. Add a maraschino cherry and orange twist as garnish.

Notes

  • You can use a highball glass if you don't have a hurricane glass.
  • We made our juices from fresh fruit but you can use juice from the grocery store.

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About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: February 11, 2022

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