How to Make a Hurricane

New Orleans did the country a solid when it popularized this fruity rum cocktail.

The Hurricane is one of those cocktails that you don't think you'll ever be into. Then one day, you're at a rum bar, probably near the ocean with a sea breeze wafting in, and the mood hits you hard. You order the rum, passion fruit, and lemon drink topped with any assortment of garnishes (but traditionally, oranges and maraschino cherries), served in its very own type of glass, and you enjoy it. Assuming it's not packed with powders and bad rum, that is. The recipe to make one yourself is simple enough, if you can get your hands on passion fruit syrup and a couple of other ingredients:

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • orange slices
  • maraschino cherries

Once you get your hands on those ingredients, you can make a Hurricane in three simple steps. Here's how.

Step 1: Combine rum, passion fruit, and lemon juice in an ice shaker. Shake until frosty. 


Step 2: Pour into a hurricane glass filled with more ice cubes

Step 3: Garnish with orange slices

A Little Background

You won't want to make your Hurricane with bad rum, but that's basically why the cocktail was invented. Like a lot of great drinks, it has roots deep in New Orleans, where shipments of Caribbean rum were plentiful in the '40s, but whiskey was not. So the story goes, the team working at Pat O'Brien's, a New Orleans speakeasy-turned-reputable-joint, invented the cocktail to move all that surplus rum. In a stroke of brilliant marketing, they stuck it in a special glass shaped like a hurricane lamp to make it extra fun.

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Others source the Hurricane cocktail's creation to the Hurricane Bar at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Either way, the cocktail caught on, and Pat O'Brien's still sells the drink, albeit made from a sweeter mix these days. You'll see versions of it up and down Bourbon Street too—served in cheap plastic cups to anyone who wants to drink on the move between bars, as is permitted in New Orleans. And bars around the country dress the Hurricane up with mixes of light and dark rums and interesting fruit juice combos.

If You Like This, Try These

The Hurricane's big bad brother is the Zombie, made with enough rum and sugary fruit juices to tranq an elephant. The Mai Tai is another tropical-themed rum cocktail worth trying. For a simpler rum classic, go for a gingery Dark and Stormy. And there's nothing a good rum Daiquiri won't cure.

Food styling by Sean Dooley

Prop styling by Ashley Naum

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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