Happy Mardi Gras folks! Just about everyone who has been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans has had one of Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes. A tall red drink served in a 24 oz. Hurricane glass which looks like the tall glass chimney of an old fashioned oil hurricane lamp. Sipping a Hurricane is one of the most popular ways to celebrate when in New Orleans, and I've had my share back in the years when I made my annual pilgrimage to Mardi Gras. It's a tasty drink with a bit of a kick, the saving grace is that it is served in a tall glass filled with ice so you can sip it slowly. If you slurp it down fast, then after a few you're gonna feel like you went through a hurricane yourself. Your clothes will start to come off, your popularity will soar, and you'll soon be wearing a lot of Mardi Gras beads and pearls.
Pat O'Brien operated a speakeasy during prohibition called Mr. O'Brien's Club Tipperary. The semi-secret password to get in was "storm's brewin". Then in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition Pat O'Brien moved
across the street and opened Pat O'Brien's and a while later in 1942 moved to the present location at 718 St. Peter Street. The Hurricane was created at Pat O'Brien's some time in the 1940's during the war years. Whiskey was hard to get but rum was plentiful and to order a case of whiskey a bar had to order as many as 50 cases of rum first. So Pat O'Brien created this punch like drink to make use of the available rum.
An interesting bit of Hurricane trivia. Pat O'Brien's restaurant claims to sell more alcohol than any other establishment in the United States. A Pat O'Brien's Hurricane glass hold exactly $10 in US pennies, and is one of the most sought after Mardi Gras and New Orleans souvenirs. I have a few myself, gathering dust in the back of my glass cabinet since the 80's, which I may just have to pull out to make a few Hurricanes for Happy Hour.
If you look around in the mixer section of many stores you can find Pat O'Brien's Hurricane mix in powder and liquid form. To this you just add a decent dark rum. But please, never use the mix unless your in the middle of a hurricane emergency. We implore you to make it from scratch for a much tastier version. Last year Sarah gave you one recipe for the Hurricane. Here's the recipe that the great mixologist and cocktalian, Gary Regan, pieced together from interviews with Pat O'Brien's and other sources and then tweaked for maximum flavor.
Gary Regan's Hurricane
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. fresh orange juice
1 oz. fresh lemon juice (or fresh lime juice)
2 oz. passion fruit juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
grenadine to taste
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
1 orange wheel, for garnish
Shake and strain into a ice filled Hurricane glass. Add garnishes and a long straw.