Hurricane Cocktail

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Looking for a tropical rum cocktail for Mardi Gras or just to sip on during the summer? Make a Hurricane! This boozy mix of dark and light rum, passion fruit puree, and citrus juice packs a powerful punch—it's a party drink for sure!

Photography Credit: Andy Christensen

Looking for an appropriate cocktail to drink on Mardi Gras this year? Like the Sazerac, the Hurricane was invented in New Orleans and is closely associated with that city. However, the two drinks could not be any more different.

Whereas the Sazerac is all restrained simplicity, the Hurricane is a party in a tall glass. It’s made with not one, but two kinds of rum, passion fruit purée or syrup, orange and lime juice, grenadine, and simple syrup. The result is a tropical boozefest that is anything but subtle.

Homemade hurricane cocktail for mardi gras

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THE ORIGINAL HURRICANE RECIPE

The Hurricane can be traced back to Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans, where it was created in the 1940’s as an excellent way to drink all the rum coming into New Orleans from the Caribbean islands.

The original recipe called for just three ingredients: dark rum, passion fruit syrup, and lemon juice. But in later years Pat O’Brien’s developed a premade mix for their popular drink that made it sweeter and redder in color. When you go to Pat O’Brien’s today and order a Hurricane, you’ll get a cocktail made from this mix (which you can also buy).

The recipe below is a homemade version of that mix. If you’re trying to replicate a recent Hurricane drink experience at Pat O’Brien’s, this should get pretty close, although it won’t be as red!

Closeup hurrican cocktail

WHAT ABOUT THE ORIGINAL RECIPE?

I did try the original recipe (commonly thought to be 2:1:1 ratio of dark rum, passion fruit syrup, and lemon juice), and thought I would highlight that recipe here with a little guilt-tripping. Forget the modern Hurricane, with all that extra rum and grenadine syrup! Go back to the original recipe! It’s the best version, blah, blah. 

But then I made both versions, and readers … I liked the modern, boozier, gaudier drink so much more! Yes, it’s a little over the top, and no, you should definitely not have more than one if you want to remain clear-eyed and focused, but for sipping by the pool or in the backyard on a hot day? Totally sold.

I did like the original recipe somewhat, but not shaken as called for. I preferred it served straight up, which basically turned it into a rum sour and not a Hurricane. So, there you have it!

How to make a hurricane cocktail

THE BEST RUM FOR A HURRICANE

This Hurricane recipe calls for two types of rum: light rum and dark rum. Definitely don’t use a super fancy rum – there are too many other flavors in this drink!

I used Myer’s Original Dark Rum ($16.99) and Mount Gay Silver Rum ($17.99).

SHOULD I USE PASSION FRUIT PURÉE, SYRUP, OR JUICE?

The biggest issue you may have making a Hurricane at home is finding the passion fruit element. Some recipes call for using passion fruit juice, but more often than not you’ll find they call for passion fruit purée or passion fruit syrup.

I couldn’t easily find 100% passion fruit juice. Ceres’ passion fruit juice, the brand you’re most likely to find in a store, is mostly pear juice. Even if you do find passion fruit juice, it will offer a much more understated passion fruit flavor than either a passion fruit purée or syrup. And since we’ve already established that the Hurricane is not an understated drink, I say go for the more passion fruit-forward option!

I found passion fruit syrup and passion fruit purée on Amazon, and purchased both to try out for this recipe. (You can buy them online, or try your local liquor store – they may have these or something like them in stock.)

Both are made with just passion fruit, sugar, and water – no other fruit or juice fillers. I preferred the drink made with the passion fruit purée over the syrup, and it’s what I call for in the recipe below. I liked the acidity the Funkin Pro purée gave the drink, which provided a much-needed balance to its sweetness. It does create a heavier, more viscous drink, and you may even notice the drink separating after it’s been sitting for a while. It’s nothing a quick stir can’t fix, and even when there was a little separation, I never tasted particles or noticed a change in the taste or texture of the drink.

If you do use passion fruit syrup, leave out the simple syrup – otherwise, the drink gets too-too sweet.

MORE TROPICAL COCKTAILS

Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

If using passion fruit syrup instead of purée, leave out the simple syrup – otherwise, the drink may be too sweet. 

Ingredients

Special equipment:

Method

1 Make the cocktail: Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill with 8 to 10 ounces crushed ice, then shake vigorously until the cocktail shaker is too cold to hold, about 30 seconds. Pour into a hurricane glass (don't strain!). Pop in a straw and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.

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Cambria Bold

Cambria Bold is the Product and Lifestyle Director for Simply Recipes. She has almost a decade's worth of online editorial experience and know-how, first as the Managing Editor for Apartment Therapy's green living site Re-Nest (RIP) and later as the Design and Lifestyle Editor for Kitchn. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and their two little girls. And, yes, this is her real name.

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2 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lisa

    You can buy frozen passion fruit puree in the Latin section of your food market. It may be called Maracuya or Parcha.

  2. Lana

    What about pureeing a fresh passion fruit and freezing it in ice cube trays to store for use as needed.

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