Celebrate Mardi Gras with the Original Hurricane

(With apologies to The Animals …)

There is a bar in New Orleans
Home of the Hurricane
And it’s been Pat O’Brien’s for many a pour, boy
I think I’ll order one

With Tuesday being Mardi Gras, our thoughts turn to Pat O’Brien’s, the French Quarter landmark where the Hurricane was invented in the 1940s. A little backstory on this delicious cocktail is in order.

You see, it was World War II. On the home front, whiskey was scarce and in high demand. If bar owners wanted to buy a case of whiskey, they had to buy several of cases of lesser selling liquors, like rum — the prominent liquor in a Hurricane. (See where this is going?) Pat O’Brien had lots and lots of rum that wasn’t selling. He also had an idea — with help from his liquor salesman. Make a strong, tasty rum drink and serve it in a hurricane glass — named after the similarly-shaped hurricane lamp. The rest is history.

Today, the Hurricane is as much a part of Mardi Gras as beads, masks, parades and king cakes. You owe it to yourself to visit the French Quarter and sit in Pat O’s courtyard, sipping the original Hurricane next to the famous Flaming Fountain. But enjoy this cocktail in moderation. Like their meteorological namesake, Hurricanes pack a punch.

If you can’t make it to Mardi Gras this year, don’t worry. Pat O’Brien’s has been kind enough to share their recipe so that you can partake at home:


  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
  • 1 oz amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • grapefruit juice
  • pineapple juice


  1. Fill a hurricane glass (or any other tall glass) 3/4 full with ice
  2. Pour in all of the alcohol first, then follow with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice (to your taste)
  3. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Or to make things really easy, try Pat O’s Hurricane mix; just add rum.

Either way, enjoy your drink in an authentic Pat O’Brien’s tumbler, or in any of our Mardi Gras-friendly fleur-de-lis designs. Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Friend and follow Pat O’Brien’s on Facebook and Twitter.

– P.J. Butland