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Hurricane Cocktail

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.

Hurricane Cocktail with Yellow Background
Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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? | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Scooped Passion Fruit
Making fresh passion fruit juice was easier than we expected. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Discover our favorite rum cocktails.

Pouring Grenadine for Clover Club Cocktail
Monin’s grenadine is a featured ingredient in various cocktails including the classic Clover Club. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Discover our favorite grenadine cocktails.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The first step in this recipe 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 need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Dark Rum for Hurricane Cocktail Recipe
Measuring the ingredients is the first step in our Hurricane cocktail recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Add ice and shake for 20 seconds.

This step will both combine and chill the ingredients.

Hurricane Cocktail Recipe in Shaker with Ice
Once you add ice to the shaker, it’s time to shake things up. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Strain the cocktail into a Hurricane glass.

Straining a Hurricane Cocktail
The Hurricane cocktail’s color reveals itself as you pour it into a Hurricane glass. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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 colorful New Orleans cocktail, the drink and the glass are a package deal.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

Alternatives

Hurricane Cocktail with Black Background 3
Warning – You probably won’t need any alternatives once you craft a tasty Hurricane cocktail at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Hurricane Cocktail with Blue Background
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5 from 3 votes

Hurricane Recipe

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.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 392kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ice cubes
  • 1 maraschino cherry (garnish)
  • orange peel (garnish)

Instructions

  • Combine white rum, dark rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine and simple syrup a shaker.
  • Add ice and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds until the drink is properly chilled and blended.
  • Strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice.
  • 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 squeezed our juices from fresh fruit but you can use juice from the grocery store.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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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. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
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.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: February 11, 2022

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