Mixology Monday: New Orleans

Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard
, originally uploaded by Gary J. Wood

July’s Mixology Monday was postponed a couple of times, first to coincide with the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans — which city is the theme for this month — and then to coincide a little less, so that those who attended the conference could get home and recover.

It would be a complete lie to say that I’m not bitter. Not about the last-minute postponing of MxMo: that’s just an inconvenience. I was ready to write something last week, true, but my blogging of late is not highly scheduled. (As you have perhaps noted.)

But basing everything on the people who attended Tales of the Cocktail … well, there I confess that I feel perhaps just a bit bruised. One of these years, I’ll schedule my life such that I can travel to Big Easy for the big event. In the meantime, I’d like the privileged few to spare a thought for us poor souls back home.

The fact is that I’ve never been to New Orleans. I’ve thought that, should I ever go, I had best go on an off-week, when nothing else of import is going on. My (faint) worry is that I’ll get swept up into the excitement of whatever else everyone is doing, have a wild time, and wake up a week later in the far corner of a dead end alley wearing someone else’s clothes … at best.

Of course I know that eventually I’ll go, and I’ll have a lovely and alley-free time.

The thing is that I have listened to the many tales people have brought back of debauched trips they’ve taken during Mardi Gras, with the French Quarter full of people and booze in roughly equal volumes.

The drink that people tend to talk about in such tales is the Hurricane, originated at Pat O’Brien’s Bar.

So for this MxMo, I thought I’d experience a bit of New Orleans in my own home and remove my silly little fear all at the same time. I’d have a nice, safe little Hurricane.

Looking at the recipe, I wasn’t impressed. I like punch well enough, but I’m not a great fan of rum. I figured this would be an OK little fruit drink. Three ounces of rum made it a very respectable drink, but this struck me as basic bar efficiency: If you’re going to serve great crowds of people, and you have limited waitstaff, make the drinks big enough to keep people happy until they can be served their next round.

Here’s the recipe I found (this is the non-powdered, non-bottled version — I take it that Pat O’Brien’s has merchandised the hell out of this drink):

Hurricane Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces light rum
  • 1.5 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (NOT Rose’s or RealLime)
  • 1/4 cup passion fruit juice, or 1 tablespoon passion fruit syrup
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Cherries with stems, and orange slice to garnish
  • Ice cubes

In a cocktail shaker, mix the rum, passion fruit juice or syrup, the other juices and the sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the grenadine, and stir to combine, then add ice and shake. Half-fill a hurricane glass with ice, then strain drink into glass; add ice to fill. Garnish with orange slice and cherries.


I found passion fruit juice at a big Giant Eagle, and I used Bacardi for the light rum and Mount Gay Eclipse Rum for the dark. I had used up my homemade grenadine, so I made do with the Rose’s red stuff. For a hurricane glass, I substituted an old beer glass — the drink looked quite pretty.

And it was delicious.

The secret was the passion fruit juice. This stuff is awesome!

I suspect people substitute in other juices (pineapple, primarily) or just up the booze when they can’t get passion fruit juice, but I doubt you’d have anything like the right flavor. Seek out the Hispanic section of your suburban super-grocer, find a can of passion fruit juice or punch, and make this up. If you can find real passion fruit and juice it, so much the better.

Anyway, so now I’ve discovered that I adore a good Hurricane. This should make me even warier of any trip to New Orleans, but in truth I think I will handle it just fine. I’m ready to tackle the Big Easy, if only I can relax enough to take a trip.

In the meantime, please check out the other MXMO: NO posts. They’ll be posted sometime in the next day or so at the new Mixology Monday website.

(You will definitely want to take a look at Dr. Bamboo’s summary of Tales of the Cocktail. There are wonderful illustrations as always, and some interesting observations. I’d love it all if I weren’t so envious.)

4 replies on “Mixology Monday: New Orleans”

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Cynthia! Glad you enjoyed it.

    And yes, you must absolutely find a way to go next year. The random tidbits I posted cover only the barest fraction of what can be seen and done down there. It’s a cocktail geek’s dream, and I still think I’m recovering!

    Seriously, start planning now. It’s 6 days of the most concentrated booze knowledge you’ll ever encounter.

  2. My first taste of a Hurricane was sneaking a sip of my father’s drink; I was around 7 years, old, sitting on his shoulders while we watched the house band play a set at Preservation Hall. That was the one and only time I’ve visited New Orleans, and I remember thinking there was a lot of grown-up fun to be had there.

    Yes. Even though I was right, a 7-year-old doesn’t have any business thinking such things. Maybe that gulp of my dad’s Hurricane was what opened my eyes.

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