A friend asked me if I had planned to post anything about Mardi Gras, which happens to be this Tuesday. Yes, Fat Tuesday (The English translation from the French), before Ash Wednesday. But no, I hadn't.
Hunkered down in the storm over the weekend however, I got thinking about New Orleans and warm weather revelry. I fantasized about sipping elegant, classic drinks there like The Sazerac and The Ramos Gin Fizz- but they don't really remind me of Mardi Gras. I think of The Hurricane cocktail, maybe even in the ubiquitous and non-glamorous plastic cup.
Pat O'Brien, a New Orleans bar owner, came up with the drink in the 1940s, kind of by mistake. He had been forced by distributors into having a lot of less popular rum sitting in his liquor room (before they would sell him could any whiskey) and had to do something with it. His brainstorm was to give it to sailors by adding some passion fruit juice, lime and put it in a glass that had a hurricane lamp shape. As my friend Kitty (Kirsten Amann of Fernet Branca) would say: Boom, cocktail! The bar Pat O'Brien's now has many locations, is pretty commercial, and the drink is unnaturally red and syrupy.
However, let's see if we can get back to its basics- pretty much a Daquiri dolled up a bit.
Hurricane: 1oz White Rum, 1oz Dark Rum, .5oz Over Proof Rum (like Smith & Cross 114 proof), .75 oz passion fruit syrup, .5 oz lime juice. Shake ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice with an orange and cherry garnish.
Passion fruit syrup: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, .5 cup passion fruit pulp (about 6 ripe passion fruits- also can use frozen from most supermarkets).
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, when sugar dissolves, bring to low heat and reduce syrup for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool, keep refrigerated- it should last a week.
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