Oh, how good drinks can go bad.
But in some cases, they can be rescued. Here's one drink that took a wrong turn somewhere, devolving into noxious pre-mix land, but which can be re-created in its flavorful original form: the Hurricane.
Here's the story, cribbed heavily from Beachbum Berry Remixed, from the go-to authority on all things exotic-drinking related, Jeff Berry. During the 1940s, the owners of the now-famous Pat O'Brien's bar in New Orleans were required by their distributors to purchase cases of rum (considered cheap in both price and reputation) in order to obtain the whisky they actually wanted to sell. In order to move this much rum, head bartender Louis Culligan came up with a simple and, as it turns out, immensely popular preparation, a citrusy relative of the Planter's Punch sweetened with the tropical flavor of passion fruit syrup.
As can happen with such popular drinks, the recipe soon went off the rails. Today Pat O'Brien's is one of the most popular bars in New Orleans (especially among tourists), and the Hurricane remains one of the city's iconic drinks. Unfortunately, the glowing red drink you'll be served in the glass that bears its name is made with a weird-tasting fruity premix, packages of which are available for purchase in many gift shops around the city.
Instead, try the Hurricane the way it started out by simply mixing rum, citrus and passion fruit syrup. For the rum, dark Jamaican is the preferred avenue—Coruba works great if you can find it, and Appleton Extra or Appleton Reserve are other good candidates.
In his book, Berry lists lemon juice as the citrus way to go, but if you're locked into that "rum = lime" preference, you have license to try it that way. And for passion fruit syrup, commercial versions are available from big companies such as Monin, and those are okay. A better (and newer) way to go is the passion fruit syrup from BG Reynolds, available by online order and at select stores around the country. Toss in some crushed ice and an old-fashioned glass or a tiki mug (or a Hurricane glass, but you may want to double the recipe), and you're good to go.
The Hurricane Recipe
- 2 ounces dark Jamaican rum
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce passion fruit syrup
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add plenty of crushed ice. Shake well and pour, unstrained, into old fashioned glass, tiki mug or Hurricane glass. Garnish with orange slice and a cherry.