Original Hurricane

Today I will be talking about a cocktail that is a Tropical storm of rum, passion, citrus, and vibrant sweetness unleashed.

a month ago

The Pat O'Brien Hurricane, an iconic cocktail that has become synonymous with the vibrant spirit of New Orleans, has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1940s. The birth of this renowned drink is closely tied to Pat O'Brien's Bar, a beloved establishment in the heart of the French Quarter.

It all began during World War II when whiskey, a popular spirit at the time, was in short supply due to rationing efforts. However, rum was still readily available, as it was being imported from the Caribbean. Bar owners in New Orleans found themselves with an abundance of rum and needed to find creative ways to use it up.

At Pat O'Brien's Bar, the solution came in the form of a new cocktail creation. The bar's owner, Pat O'Brien, along with his head bartender, Louis Culligan, set out to craft a drink that would not only utilize the excess rum but also captivate their patrons' taste buds. The result was the Hurricane, a sweet and potent concoction that would go on to become a New Orleans legend.

Don’t worry about taking notes as I am giving out the ingredients and instructions. They are always posted on 

Orginal Hurricane



Fill a hurricane glass (or a tall 20 oz glass) with ice.
Pour the light rum and dark rum over the ice.
Add the passion fruit syrup (or passion fruit puree and simple syrup mixture) to the glass.
Squeeze in the fresh lime juice and orange juice.
Add the grenadine syrup, which will sink to the bottom, creating a layered effect.
Using a long bar spoon, stir the ingredients together until well combined. Be sure to mix from the bottom up to evenly distribute the grenadine.
Float the 151 Rum as a topper
Garnish the Hurricane with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. The orange slice is typically perched on the rim of the glass, while the cherry is skewered and placed inside the drink.
Serve the Hurricane with a straw, and remind your guests to enjoy responsibly, as this is a strong cocktail.

The original Hurricane recipe was a simple yet effective combination of ingredients. The cocktail called for:

The passion fruit syrup, a key component of the Hurricane, added a unique tropical flavor and a vibrant reddish hue to the drink. The syrup was made in-house at Pat O'Brien's, using a blend of passion fruit puree, sugar, and water.

As the Hurricane gained popularity at Pat O'Brien's, it became a staple of the bar's menu. The drink's success was partly due to its unique presentation. Pat O'Brien served the Hurricane in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp, which added to the cocktail's allure and made it easily recognizable.

The Hurricane's fame soon spread beyond the walls of Pat O'Brien's. During Mardi Gras celebrations, the cocktail became a beloved choice among revelers looking to enjoy a sweet and potent drink while parading through the streets of New Orleans. The Hurricane's popularity continued to grow, and it eventually became an iconic symbol of the city's vibrant drinking culture.

Over time, variations of the Hurricane recipe emerged, with bartenders putting their own spin on the classic cocktail. Some versions incorporated additional fruit juices, such as pineapple or orange, while others experimented with different types of rum or alternative sweeteners.

However, the original Pat O'Brien Hurricane recipe remains the gold standard, showcasing the perfect balance of light and dark rum, passion fruit syrup, and lime juice. The combination creates a harmonious blend of tropical flavors that transport the drinker to the lively streets of New Orleans with each sip.

Today, the Hurricane continues to be a beloved cocktail, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike at Pat O'Brien's and other establishments throughout New Orleans. The drink has become an integral part of the city's culinary and cultural heritage, a testament to the enduring legacy of Pat O'Brien and his innovative cocktail creation.

The Hurricane's story is a reminder of the ingenuity and adaptability of the human spirit, particularly in the face of adversity. Born out of necessity during a time of scarcity, the Hurricane not only helped Pat O'Brien's Bar survive but also gave the world a timeless cocktail that embodies the essence of New Orleans.

My favorite Hurricane comes from Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and Bar, located on the famous Bourbon Street at St Peter, in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, is a historic building shrouded in mystery and intrigue. They serve the Original Hurricane that Pat O'Brien invented using his original Passion Fruit Syrup and the specific rums that he specified. The structure, which dates back to the late 18th century, is believed to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city.

According to legend, the building served as a front for the illicit activities of Jean Lafitte, a notorious pirate and privateer who operated in the Gulf of Mexico during the early 19th century. Lafitte and his brother, Pierre, allegedly used the blacksmith shop as a cover for their smuggling operations, storing contraband goods in the building's hidden chambers and secret passageways.

The Lafitte brothers were known for their daring exploits and their ability to evade capture by the authorities. They were also instrumental in helping defend New Orleans against the British during the War of 1812, providing ammunition and supplies to the American forces led by General Andrew Jackson.

Despite their contributions to the city's defense, the Lafitte brothers were eventually forced to abandon New Orleans in 1820 after being implicated in illegal activities. The blacksmith shop, however, remained a fixture in the French Quarter, evolving over time to serve various purposes.

In the early 20th century, the building was transformed into a bar, capitalizing on its association with Jean Lafitte and the city's vibrant drinking culture. The bar, which still operates today, maintains a rustic and mysterious atmosphere, with its exposed brick walls, flickering candles, and weathered wooden beams.

Visitors to Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and Bar can soak up the building's rich history while sipping on traditional New Orleans cocktails, such as the Hurricane or the Vieux Carré. The bar also features live music performances, adding to the lively ambiance that characterizes the French Quarter.

Over the years, the building has become a popular tourist attraction and a cherished local landmark. Its enduring legacy is a testament to the colorful and often tumultuous history of New Orleans, where tales of pirates, smugglers, and hidden treasures continue to capture the imagination of visitors from around the world.

Today, Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and Bar stands as a reminder of the city's resilient spirit and its ability to transform even the most notorious figures into beloved icons. As you step through its weathered doors and into the dimly lit interior, you can almost feel the presence of the legendary pirate, his spirit forever intertwined with the rich tapestry of New Orleans' history.

The key to a great Hurricane is finding the right balance between the sweetness of the passion fruit and grenadine, the tartness of the lime and orange juices, and the strength of the rum. Feel free to adjust the proportions slightly to suit your personal taste preferences.

As you savor your Jean Lafitte's Hurricane, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and lively atmosphere of the French Quarter, where this iconic cocktail has become a beloved symbol of New Orleans' vibrant drinking culture.

As always I am open to hear your take and your input. You can reach me at [email protected]

Brian Certain

Published a month ago