Welcome To Wonkette Happy Hour, With This Week's Cocktail, The Hurricane!

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Welcome To Wonkette Happy Hour, With This Week's Cocktail, The Hurricane!

Greetings, Wonketteers! I’m Hooper, your bartender. I’ve been wanting to do another New Orleans classic for a while. Let’s enjoy a tiki staple now that spring is in the air. Time to drink some Hurricanes. Here’s the recipe.


Hurricane

2 oz Gosling’s Black Rum

2 oz Bacardi Anejo 4 year (or Bacardi Gold)

4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

1 oz lemon juice

2-4 oz house grenadine

Shake the rums, lemon juice, and passion fruit in a shaker. Strain into a hurricane glass filled to the rim with crushed ice. Slowly add grenadine to fill the glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and Luxardo cherry on a broken cocktail umbrella.

House grenadine

2 cups POM pomegranate juice

2 cups white sugar

Heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate.

House passion fruit syrup

1 cup 100% pure passion fruit puree

2 cups water

1 cup white sugar

Heat until sugar dissolves. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate.

The original Hurricane was crafted in the 1940s at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans. It was designed from the get-go as a crowd pleaser. It’s a ton of fruit juice, sugar, and inexpensive rum in a hurricane lamp chimney. What better way to stroll down Bourbon Street and sip your cares away?

I’ve had a few of these in New Orleans, and most of them were overly expensive and unmemorable. Sometimes, you pay more for the experience than the drink. Conversely, I’ve had a few of these at some craft bars in Ohio, and they generally miss the point. Crafted Cocktail served a vegetal olive-green version that was … less than good.

To make a really top-notch Hurricane, you need to embrace the truth: This drink is meant to sell a bunch of cheap rum disguised under fruit and sugar. If you use solid mixers, like passion fruit syrup from scratch or house grenadine, the drink gets way better. But cheap rum is perfectly fine in a good Hurricane. If you diverge too much from the drink’s roots, you’ll end up with something weird.

This is a drink meant to be made at a bar. You can make quality Martinis and Manhattans at home. But you need some commercial supplies to get quality Hurricanes. Bars crush tons of ice for service. I ground up all the ice in the house to make this drink. Likewise the passion fruit and grenadine are easy to make in bulk before a shift. It’s a bit more effort to make these on a stovetop at your home.

However, if you’re planning a party, this drink is great. You’ll have all the passion fruit and grenadine you need for your guests. You don’t need to spend a lot of money at the liquor store. Make your fruit syrups ahead of time. Pre-batch your rum mix. Get a big bag of pebble ice from Sonic or Dairy Queen. Drink some of these up with your friends after dinner, and every weekend can be Mardi Gras.

If, on the other hand, you want to have a drink at hand while reading the open thread comments, I'd recommend this foreshortened riff on the Hurricane. Call it a Tropical Depression. It's less ice and less effort.

Tropical Depression

2 oz Bacardi Anejo
2 oz passion fruit syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1-2 oz house grenadine

Shake all ingredients except grenadine. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice. Slowly add grenadine to fill the glass.


Let’s talk ingredients:


Ingredient shot. You know it's spring in Ohio when the road construction signs bloom. Matthew Hooper


Bacardi 4 year Anejo: This is a very nice Puerto Rican rum. Bacardi benefits immensely from a little aging. It mellows out and gains some tannin and vanilla, while still maintaining a classic Puerto Rican rum flavor. Regular Bacardi Gold rum would work just fine in this cocktail. Hurricanes are meant for cheap rum. Just don’t dive into the bottom shelf of your local liquor store. There’s rum, and then there’s “rum.”

Gosling’s Dark Rum: Of all the dark rums available, Gosling’s is my favorite. Meyer’s has plummeted in quality over the years. Cruzan has an unwelcome heavy blackstrap note I don’t want. I might go 3:1 Bacardi to Gosling in the cocktail. The Gosling adds needed character and depth, but too much dark rum makes the drink look muddy.

Passion Fruit Syrup: Getting good-quality passion fruit pulp is challenging. I’d recommend the Wanabana brand if possible. Avoid presweetened passion fruit beverages or cocktails. Passion fruit by itself is very tart. Building your own passion fruit syrup lets you make a slightly sour hurricane instead of a sugar bomb. The syrup does separate readily. Give it a good shake before using.

Grenadine: No compromises, no substitutions. Real homemade grenadine has wine-like depth and character that’s miles better than the store bought junk. Bright red commercial grenadine isn’t much more than red food coloring and syrup. And grenadine is so easy to make. A bottle of POM pomegranate juice, some sugar, and you’re done. This is the only place in the cocktail where you can’t go cheap without regretting it.

Lemon juice: I generally use lime juice in my rum cocktails. But this drink really needs brightness and acid to balance all the syrups. As always, fresh is best.

Making non-alcoholic Hurricanes is easy. Skip the rum and add your favorite lemon-lime soda. It’ll be more sugary, but still very tasty. There’s no reason for anyone to sit out the fun.

In summary and conclusion, drink well, drink often, and tip your bartender — donate to Wonkette at the link below! I am SUPER HAPPY to be working the floor at The Spotted Owl in Cleveland. Swing by this weekend and say hello! And if you'd like to buy some bar gear or books from Amazon, please click here!

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Matthew Hooper
Matthew Hooper, aka Samurai Grog, turned 50 in 2021 and decided to have a midlife crisis by leaving a boring sales and marketing job to tend bar at the local country club. He's never been happier. He's also a fencer, a dad, a husband, and a punk music fan. Overall, he's way cooler than he ever thought he could be when he was 16. 
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