Mardi Gras Cocktails: The Hurricane

Hurricane CocktailInvented in New Orleans and made popular by Mardi Gras goers, the Hurricane is a proud American staple. But what makes this drink? Its history, its flavor or the glass?

The history of the Hurricane is a story of logic. During World War II, whiskey was in low supply, so liquor salesmen would require bar owners to purchase up to 50 cases of the more abundant rum in order to purchase one case of whiskey. Bar owners had to come up with a way to sell the stock piles of rum they had.

At Pat O’Brien’s French Quarter bar in New Orleans, the bartenders came up with a fruity cocktail that was tasty enough to use up their rum, and would eventually put the bar on the map. A few years later, the hurricane lamp glass was invented and adopted by O’Brien’s to serve the rum drink, supplying its infamous name.

Mardi Gras

Now popular throughout the United States, the Hurricane is the standard drink of Mardi Gras, especially in its founding city of New Orleans. Over the years, bars and liquor companies have come up with their own version of the drink, making Hurricane premixes and posting new recipes. Even Pat O’Brien’s has its own premix.

The hurricane glass has also become quite popular. O’Brien’s gives souvenir glasses to patrons who try their famous Hurricane. According to their website, “The Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane glass is one of the most sought-after souvenirs in New Orleans. Many New Orleanians have one or more in their possession…” Tourists enjoy showing off to friends by displaying the shapely glass in their homes. It becomes a place to layer Mardi Gras beads or to hold spare change.

The Hurricane Recipe

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp grenadine
  • Orange slice and cherry
  • Hurricane glass or Tall glass


  1. Squeeze the juice from half a lime into the bottom of a Hurricane or Tall glass. Mix other ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Pour mixture into glass onto ice. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.
  2. For those who prefer a premix, the liquor store should provide a vast amount of mixes that range from generic to high end. For a premix Hurricane, just combine rum, premix and ice together in a glass. Garnish with an orange, a cherry, or both, and serve.


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