The Hurricane

The Hurricane

The Hurricane

The Hurricane

2 oz Pusser’s Rum
0.5 oz Orange Liqueur
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Passion Fruit Juice/Nectar
1 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Grenadine
0.5 oz Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a goblet or collins glass filled with ice.
All ice should be large cubes.
Garnish with an Orange Wheel and Maraschino Cherry.

* * *

It’s been said before, and I can’t say it any better myself:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them.

In the case of the Hurricane, I’m choosing the latter option. See, I’ve never enjoyed a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s. After Lars’ post, I’m really dying to taste one and let the ambiance of the place wash over me while a 28 oz glass of rum, fruit juice, and ice slowly co-mingles with my bloodstream. On a balmy New Orleans night, I couldn’t think of anything better. However, after whipping up a batch of Official O’Brien’s Mix Hurricanes, I’m seriously having second thoughts.

If you haven’t noticed the pattern with the New Orleans posts, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry one: Lars features a classic place to drink, and I follow up with the applicable libation. The formula was working pretty well until we got to the Hurricane. As mentioned, I’d never tasted one, so I set out my typical voyage of discovery — find an original or official recipe and let fly with the shaker. That’s where I hit the first brick wall — the official recipe.

4 oz of dark rum
4 oz of Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Cocktail Mix

Wow, that’s a strong drink. More importantly, I’ve never met a mix — powdered or bottled (see the Gimlet) — that I liked. For a drink like O’Brien’s Hurricane, which was born during World War II, the path to a packaged, powdered mix does make some sort of sense. The 50s and 60s in America were a time of space age optimism and packaging. The 70s and 80s brought with them a decline in drinking and a focus on health. From O’Brien’s Hurricane’s creation up to the current revival in cocktail culture, American had, with a few exceptions, lost its taste for proper mixed drinks. Even today, as much as Lars and I are trying to bring you classic Big Easy concoctions, should you venture that way, you’re more likely to stumble upon “big-ass” frozen daiquiris than a Sazerac. Unfortunately, it’s all about getting bombed as cheaply and quickly as possible — which O’Brien’s Hurricane will do for you in spades (I figure the mix costs about $0.10 wholesale per drink).

So, a mix it was, but what’s in the mix?

Sugar, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Fruit & Vegetable Oils (Contains Soy), Tri-Calcium Phosphate, and U.S. Certified Colors (Including F.D. & C. Red #40, Yellow #5 and Blue #1).

Yummy. For my recipe, the mix was definitely out, but whipping up a batch of mixed-based Hurricanes was as close as I was going to get to tasting the real thing. The results were, well, horrible. Without 20 oz of ice to dilute the drink, it was harsh and artificial tasting. I called Lars to get his take. Yup, he told me, serious dilution was key. And, as fond as he is of spending a long, Indian summer evenings in O’Brien’s courtyard, he conceded that the drinks could stand getting back to real ingredients.

Finding a proper “real” Hurricane recipe proved to be the next brick wall. Ingredients varied wildly, with little consensus on what and how much. The above recipe is an amalgam of Dale DeGroff and the 2002 Sauce Guide (now Difford’s) to Cocktails, a British publication. The key notes of the O’Brien’s mix are maintained — a sharp citrus tang and a rock candy like fruit sweetness. It may not be what you get at O’Brien’s, but it’s what you should get — a tasty and properly made rum punch that fills you up as it lights you up.

If nothing else, when you make your drinks, take up arms against the mixes and, by opposing them, end them. Your drinks will taste all the better for it.

A Point on Grenadine: If you must buy grenadine, go with Fee Brothers’ American Beauty. If you’re up for making your own, here’s a quick recipe:

1 part Pure Pomegranate Juice (POM or other brand)
2 parts Sugar
French Orange Flower Water
Rose Water

Heat the juice over a very low flame and mix in the sugar in batches until it is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove 3/4 of syrup from the stove, and heat the remaining 1/4 over a medium flame until it is reduced by half. When this is done, add to the rest of the syrup. Add approximately six drops each of orange flower water and rose water — just enough to accent the syrup without becoming prominent notes.

To keep the syrup for many months, add an ounce of vodka and store in the fridge. Just remember not to use it in the kids’ Shirley Temples.


11 responses to “The Hurricane

  1. This post is hilarious

    • The funniest part is this: after searching every known supermarket in a 10 mile radius — from Whole Foods to Smart n’ Final — I came up passion fruit juice-less. Well-knowing the taste of passion fruit, I opted for the most similar item I had on-hand: Earth’s Best Organic Pear & Mango puree. Baby food. It worked beautifully, and I recommended it in a pinch.

      The show must go on.

  2. Another fine post and picture. Now I’m thristy and have to go to work. Is this what they call “Tryin’ to Reason with Hurricane Season?”

  3. Exactly Sue!

    Or alternately… this is “knowing what it means to miss New Orleans.”

  4. Methinks you’re a kindred spirit, Lars! Glad to meet you!

  5. Pingback: Painkiller #3 « 12 Bottle Bar

  6. Indeed Sue… you followin’ my New Orleans posts?

  7. Pingback: The Ace Cocktail | 12 Bottle Bar

  8. I think you should go to Pat O`Brien`s once and try it, because it´s one of those things you must do if you go to New Orleans.But be forewarned that the mixed-Hurricane is not a tasty one…but the flaming fountain is something to see indeed.
    Then stick to homemade Hurricanes…they`re so much better. I do believe that the Hurricane at Pat O`Brien`s must have been better in the early days than it is now, degraded to a chemical-mix-quick-bombed-fix.

    Btw i wrote a blog post on the Hurricane long ago –

    • Agreed — I do need to get back to New Orleans and try it. I’ve only been once, for a business convention, and I really didn’t get much sense of the city. It was well before I really got into cocktails, so of course, I’m dying to go back asap.

  9. Pingback: The Ace Cocktail | 12 Bottle Bar

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