How to Make a Hurricane Cocktail

The latest edition to our Southern Cocktail Series is the Hurricane Cocktail! This is a fruity and delicious and, be warned, STRONG drink that was invented in New Orleans.

Southern Cocktail Series – The Hurricane Cocktail

A close up of a sign in New Orleans. This is the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Louis Street.

History of the Hurricane Drink

The hurricane is a drink with a well established history. It was invented at the famous Pat O’Brien’s bar in New Orleans. Pat O’Briens has a fascinating history on its own. It was opened as semi-secret speakeasy during prohibition. The password to get in was said to be “storm’s brewin.”

After prohibition it opened as a legal liquor establishment on December 3, 1933.

O’Brien invented the Hurricane in the 1940’s. During WWII it was difficult to get the more popular scotch whiskey. At this point the south hadn’t yet “taken to” rum. However rum was much more readily available as it came up the Mississippi River from the islands.

Because they had such a surplus of rum the liquor salesman would strong arm the bar owners into buying it by refusing to sell them whiskey unless they also bought a certain number of barrels of rum.

O’ Brien found himself with too much rum so his bar managers began experimenting with various rum beverages. They realized that rum with passionfruit mix was a delicious combination. It was a stroke of genius when they served the concoction in the famous curvy glass shaped like a hurricane lamp and called it The Hurricane.

The drink was a hit and O’Brien’s has been serving the Hurricane cocktail ever since.

My personal history with the Hurricane

One of my college friends was from a tiny town in Louisiana near New Orleans. Some of us went to her house for spring break and of course we visited Bourbon Street. We tried the famous Hurricane at Pat O’Briens for the very first time.

I assure you that back in those days nobody on Bourbon Street was concerned about using fresh ingredients. I remember that the drink was really sweet and packed a punch. By the way, I was only 19 at the time. College students around the US might be surprised to learn that the legal drinking age was only 18 in many states back in the early 80’s.

I do remember that we had a good time!

Tips for Making a Hurricane Cocktail

  • Passion fruit juice is not the most common fruit juice around. It can be a bit hard to find. Passion fruit puree is actually what we used in our hurricanes and it was a great choice. Passion fruit syrup will make the drink very sweet so if that is all you can find you will want to leave out the simple syrup. Your local liquor store might have passion fruit juice or puree in the mixer section.
  • If you can’t find passion fruit juice or puree (or just don’t like it) I am including an alternate recipe that uses pineapple and pomegranate juice. Those are usually easy to find.
  • Grenadine basically just adds sweetness and a red color to the drink. It makes it pretty, but it is not necessary. In this recipe we are calling for a bar spoon of grenadine. A bar spoon equals approximately a teaspoon. Many recipes call for 1/2 ounce of grenadine. Feel free to skip the grenadine entirely if you aren’t a fan. If you don’t use the grenadine and think that the drink isn’t sweet enough just add a touch more simple syrup
  • Simple syrup is easy to make! just heat equal parts water and sugar together until the sugar is completely melted.
  • Mid range rums are totally fine for this drink! You could even experiment with some spiced or flavored rums.

Items Needed to make a Hurricane Cocktail

Ingredients Needed to make a Hurricane Cocktail

  • Light rum
  • Dark rum
  • Passion fruit juice or Passion fruit puree
  • Simple Syrup
  • Grenadine
  • Orange juice
  • Juice of a lime
  • Orange slice for garnish
  • Cherry for garnish
A grouping of ingredients to make a Hurricane cocktail. The photograph is shor from above and you can see some liquors, an orange, a couple of limes, a cocktail shaker, a shot glass, and a bottle of passion fruit puree.

Recipe for the Classic Hurricane Cocktail Using Passionfruit

  • Put ice in your cocktail shaker and add…
  • 1.5 or 2 ounces of light rum
  • 1.5 or 2 ounces of dark rum
  • 1.5 ounce of orange juice
  • 1.5 ounce of passion fruit puree (or juice)
  • .5 ounce of simple syrup
  • one bar spoon (1 tsp) of grenadine
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • Shake well and…
  • Pour over ice in your hurricane glass
  • Add a slice of orange and a cherry as garnish
  • Enjoy!

Alternate Recipe WITHOUT Passionfruit

Leave everything the same as above except:

  • Instead of the passion fruit juice add 1 ounce pomegranate juice AND 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • Lower the amount of orange juice to 1 ounce
  • Leave out the grenadine

Hope you enjoyed learning how to make a Hurricane! These are perfect for sipping on a warm summer night or for mixing up when a storm is a brewin’!

A photo of two glasses that contain a red liquid. There is ice and a straw in the glasses. There are mardi gras beads and mardi gras masks surrounding the drinks. The drinks are served in Hurricane cocktail glasses.

Drink responsibly and thanks for stopping by!