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THE HURRIcane - bits & bobs

1. While Hurricane’s are made with rum, whiskey is largely responsible for their creation.

2. Pat O’Brien’s, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is the home of the Hurricane drink.

3. The Hurricane was named after the traditional glass hurricane lantern, and not the storm.

Mardi Gras 2019 is Tuesday, March 5th

The World Famous Hurricane

New Orleans’ Most Popular Souvenir Drink

Pat Obriens' Patio
Pat O'Brien's Patio courtesy of Pat O'Brien's

In a city of icons, few things stand as tall and proud in the mind of New Orleans’ visitors as a Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane. Glistening, cool, and electric red, piled high with fruit in a glass that looks a bit like an old fashioned hurricane lantern, the Hurricane harkens back to WWII and times when whiskey was scarce, and rum a bit too plentiful. But today this drink born of scarcity positively reeks of excess and good times.

The French Quarter drinking mecca known as Pat O’Brien’s began as a speakeasy, but was converted to a legal drinking establishment in 1933 (at the end of Prohibition). Featuring an upright piano and good conversation, the modest establishment was a favorite with locals and quickly outgrew its space on the 600 block of St. Peter Street. A few years later it moved to its current location at 718 St. Peter Street.

Rumor has it that the Hurricane first premiered at the 1939 World’s Fair. But according to the Pat O’Brien’s website, during WWII whiskey was such a precious commodity, and rum so cheap and plentiful, that southern liquor salesman forced bar owners to purchase usurious quantities of rum in order to purchase any whiskey at all. The Hurricane was invented to liquidate this overabundance of rum. Regardless of how/why/where it was invented, the drink was a hit, and remains so to this day.

Here's How To Make a Pat O'Brien's Hurricane

(according to their website)


In a 26 oz. Hurricane glass, mix
Pat Obriens Hurricane• 4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Rum or a good Amber/Gold Rum
• 4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Mix
• Fill with crushed ice
• Garnish with an orange and cherry


In a 26 oz. Hurricane glass, mix
•4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Rum or a good Amber/Gold Rum
•4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Mix
• Fill with crushed ice
• Garnish with an orange and cherry

Obviously, the real secret is in the mix. The Pat O’Brien’s taste is somewhere between adult Koo- Aid, and a fruit juice-based rum drink from the islands. If mixing your own is the thing you crave, neither an off the shelf powdered drink mix nor a splash of fruit juice will quite get you there. Some online recipes suggest a combination of grenadine, various fruit syrups, and fine-grained sugar. The experimentation process promises to be fun, and, as with most things, there will be a lot of personal preference involved. Or, you could order the mix online.

While there are alternative mixes, others serve drinks they call Hurricanes, and you can always get a “go cup”, possession of a genuine Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane glass is a tourist totem, and point of pride that goes well beyond simply putting the ingredients into a glass. It feels a bit like taking home a piece of history.

WARNING: For your safety and the safety of others, All About Mardi Gras pleads with you not to drink and drive ever, under any circumstances. It’s illegal, unnecessary, unsafe, foolish, and is guaranteed to ruin your vacation.

Sources (and External Links)

The author/editor is indebted to others for the content in this article. While the final product on this page is ours, and we claim full ownership and responsibility for same, what you read here is based on our research which led us to the following sources of information:

1. Pat O’Brien’s -

2. French Quarter (dot com) -

3. Yahoo Answers -