Hurricane Cocktail

Classic hurricane cocktail with a cherry and orange slice garnish

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
404 Calories
0g Fat
37g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 404
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 51mg 255%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 341mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The hurricane is an iconic tropical cocktail that is brilliantly refreshing on a hot summer day. It is a fun rum-filled drink that includes a captivating combination of passion fruit and orange juices. While it looks and tastes rather complicated, with a mix of sweet tropical flavors, tart lime, and two rums, it is actually quite easy to make.

Credit for the original hurricane cocktail goes to Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans during the 1940s. It's said that the drink was created as a means to get rid of the large stock of rum. It's still a trendy drink to sip on New Orleans' streets during Mardis Gras or any time of year.

Like many classic cocktails, the hurricane has been remade several times over the years. The original hurricane was extremely simple and required just three ingredients. This recipe is a little more involved and has a delicious balance of flavors.


Click Play to See This Classic Hurricane Cocktail Recipe Come Together

"The hurricane is probably the most famous classic cocktail that contains passion fruit, which is an amazing flavor in cocktails. The sweetness of these can vary wildly, and passionfruit is traditionally quite tart, so be ready to tweak the sweetness with simple syrup to your liking." —Tom Macy

Hurricane Cocktail Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making a hurricane cocktail
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, squeeze the juice from half a lime.

    Cocktail shaker filled with ice, citrus squeezer, and half of a squeezed lime
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Pour the two rums, passion fruit juice or purée, orange juice, simple syrup, and grenadine into the shaker.

    Cocktail shaker filled with ice and liquid ingredients for making a hurricane
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Shake well, until the outside of the shaker tin becomes frosty.

    A hammered metal cocktail shaker filled with ice is shaken until frosty
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice.

    A hurricane cocktail and a hammered metal cocktail shaker
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry. Serve and enjoy.

    Hurricane cocktail with a cherry and orange slice garnish
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

How to Find or Make Passion Fruit Juice

Passion fruit juice is not one of the most popular juices on the market; passion fruit purée or syrup is more common. These can often be found at stores specializing in natural food and international foods, and the syrup may be in a liquor store's mixer section. Frozen passion fruit concentrate or passion fruit nectar are other viable substitutes. You can also make juice or purée from fresh passion fruit, and this makes an excellent hurricane. However, the fruit's season is short, and it can be expensive.

  • To juice passion fruit, cut the fruit in half and scoop the pulp, seeds, and juice into a blender. For 5 to 6 fruits, add about 1/3 cup sugar (adjust to taste as some passion fruit varieties are very tart) and 1 quart of cold water. Blend at low speeds until the juicy seeds break up, and you have a liquid purée. Strain the pulp and broken seeds using a fine-mesh strainer or sieve, pressing out as much juice as you can. Bottle and refrigerate the juice and discard the pulp.

Depending on the kind of passion fruit product you're able to find, you might need to adjust the cocktail with a little more or less simple syrup.

Who Invented the Hurricane Cocktail?

The hurricane cocktail's origin is traced back to the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. Though it's unknown what was in the drink (rum is suspected), it was reportedly served at the Hurricane Bar and named after the hurricane lamp-shaped glasses it was served in. This style continues to be known as a hurricane glass and is the most popular way to serve the drink.

Fast-forward a few years to New Orleans at Pat O'Brien's, where the famous version of the drink was invented. After World War II, brandy, gin, and whiskey supplies were slim, but rum was readily available. With an overstock of rum, the owners of Pat O'Brien's (Benson "Pat" O'Brien and Charlie Cantrell) reportedly asked head bartender Louis Culligan to create a drink that featured rum. Culligan's original hurricane recipe was published in Cabaret (a now-defunct magazine) around 1956. It was incredibly simple: 4 ounces of gold rum with 2 ounces each of lemon juice and Fassionola syrup.

What Is Fassionola Syrup?

Fassionola syrup is a tropical fruit syrup that was reportedly invented in the 1930s by Donn Beach, a founder of America's tiki bars. Like many of his recipes, it was never revealed. The red syrup has since been created—both commercially and in homemade recipes—and is a fruity blend of passion fruit, papaya, strawberry, mango, pineapple, and hibiscus. In modern renditions of the hurricane, Fassionola has been replaced by passion fruit juice, purée, or syrup. At Pat O'Brien's today, the hurricane is made with a premixed syrup and juice blend, which the bar markets and sells for home use. Other bars in New Orleans and beyond stick to the freshly made hurricane, similar to this recipe.

What Is the Best Rum for a Hurricane?

Some hurricanes are made with white rum alone, and Pat O'Brien's has primarily stuck with gold rum. However, the combination of light and dark rums brings balance to the cocktail's sweet-tart fruity array. It's fun to play with the two rums, and each new pairing gives the drink a unique character. Midrange to top-shelf rums are best, and bartenders commonly choose a well-aged Caribbean rum for the dark rum. Spiced rum is an interesting choice as well.

How Strong Is the Hurricane?

Rum varies in strength, and that will affect the alcohol content of the hurricane. When made with two 80-proof rums, it mixes up to about 18 percent ABV (36 proof). While it's neither the strongest nor the lightest drink, the sweet taste makes it go down as easily as fruit punch. A couple of hurricanes can catch up to you.