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Hutch’s Happy Hour – The Hurricane (A Rum Cocktail)


This month, I wanted to showcase a rum cocktail with big bold flavours and real summer vibes; but at the same time [as with all my recipes] easy to make yourself and enjoy at home. There are obviously a lot of contenders out there but my journey round the world, unfortunately through cyber space, landed me in New Orleans. A place famous for its jazz music, great food and an all year-round party atmosphere…it is also where this month’s cocktail was invented.

The Hurricane…vibrant fruit flavours with a hit of rum and a little extra tart sweetness from the grenadine to balance it out…100% fits the brief, and for me brings with it some added nostalgia having spent some time there myself. A place like no other in America, I’m sure anyone else that’s been will agree, it is a city with masses of personality, live music everywhere you turn, smells of creole cuisine looming and Bourbon Street with an indescribable buzz that lifts the spirits of everyone around. And on any given night, bars all across the city will no doubt be serving up thousands of this now iconic cocktail.

Enough reminiscing for now…time for the important bit. 

Rum cocktail the Hurricane served in tall LSA glasses, images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography as part of the Hutch's Happy Hour series

Hurricane Cocktail Ingredients

Alcohol Free variation – This month we’ve been giving Lyre’s spirits a go. An Australian company who do alcohol free variants of most major spirits, they are definitely worth checking out. For this recipe we replaced the rum with their white and dark cane spirits…and the result was delicious.  

Tip #1 – If you only have one bottle of rum, or only want to purchase a single bottle, then just use 60ml of the rum available. Light or dark, it doesn’t matter; as usual the important thing is using ingredients you like the taste of and just giving it a go.

Tip #2 – If you can’t get your hands on any passionfruit juice [be sure to check the world food section of your supermarket] then substitute the orange and passionfruit juices with 90ml of Orange and Passionfruit J2O.


How to make a Hurricane Rum Cocktail

  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with a handful of ice and stir
  • Fill your chosen glass with ice, this is one of those drinks (like a Martini) that has it’s own glass style but if you don’t own one then any glass will do
  • Strain the cocktail into your ice filled glass, and enjoy

It may be seen as an iconic drink now, but its beginnings were truly humble, to say the least. During World War II, whisky was in short supply as distilleries faced severe labour shortages along with bans on the distilling of whisky for retail. Many distilleries turned their hands to the production of supplies that would aide those men and women serving on the front line. This led to distributors rationing their whisky stocks throughout the country as distilleries were only allowed to sell their existing stockpiles.

It is said that during this time, the distributor for Pat O’Briens stipulated that for them to purchase the whisky that they, and their patrons, were desperate for; they must also purchase large quantities of the far less popular rum. Contrary to the whisky situation, with rum predominantly coming in from the Caribbean, there was no shortage of the stuff. So that they could “offload” the excess of rum accumulating in their stock room, the guys at Pat O’Briens invented a cocktail which consisted of 2-part rum to 1-part passionfruit syrup and 1-part lemon juice. Whilst this does sound good, it is clearly a bit of a leap away from the fruity concoction I introduced you too above. The cocktail proved to be so popular that the recipe had to be adapted in order to speed up the output and keep up with demand; which led to the use of a pre-batched cocktail mix and where the juice element began to feature. The buzz spreading throughout the city, different bars would attempt to recreate the cocktail and add their own twist resulting in a variety of recipes being served across New Orleans. Whilst they may all differ; the result is consistently the big bold fruity cocktail you’d expect when ordering a Hurricane. But if you are ever in town and want to give the “original” a try then head on over to Pat O’Briens.

There you have it; whilst the weathers looking fine why not fire up the BBQ, stick some Kermit Ruffins on your Spotify and mix yourself up a Hurricane or two.




Don’t forget you can find the other Hutch’s Happy Hour recipes here