This Famous New Orleans Cocktail Uses Fresh Juices & Comes Together Over Ice in 10 Minutes

In this installment of Diaspora Dining, Jessica B. Harris' series on foods of the African diaspora, the author and historian offers her version of one of the Crescent City's famed tipples: The Hurricane. Rum, both dark and white varieties, is what gives this cocktail its hurricane-like kick.

New Orleans Hurricane Cocktail
Photo: Brittany Conerly
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins

June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season in the Atlantic region. It is the time when folks with any connection to the Caribbean and along the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Atlantic begin to put question marks near activities and events, thinking of evacuation plans. This is doubly true in the Crescent City at the bend in the Mississippi River known as New Orleans, where I have had a house for more than 20 years. The city has won a big piece of my heart, and my spot brings me joy and delight and, over the years, a load of friends.

After the start of hurricane season, though, I scurry northward. Hurricanes are no joke. I should know, I spent Hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica many years ago and survived Bob on Martha's Vineyard a few years after that. Howling winds and pelting rain are not my preferred weather mode. Seventeen years ago, I was fortunate to have been out of town long before Hurricane Katrina hit, and I now warily watch summer weather in the Big Easy from afar.

Like the swirling crescents on the weather maps, liquid Hurricanes, such as the ones sold at many bars in my favorite city, offer a kick that often makes the imbibers feel as though they'd survived a big blow. A potent combination of rums and fruit juices, these drinks have become one of the city's classic cocktails, with Pat O'Brien's bar on Bourbon Street the traditional place to indulge. O'Brien's mix is proprietary, so I've come up with my own version that uses fresh juices and a dash of passion-fruit syrup to give it a bright taste. I serve it in the traditional curvy hurricane glass that was created to resemble the lantern globes that were placed over candles to keep them from guttering during the strong winds.

I readily acknowledge my weather cowardice, so I will be savoring my liquid Hurricane on my pink porch on Martha's Vineyard, raising a glass to friends in the southern regions and wishing them all a safe and mercifully uneventful hurricane season.

New Orleans Hurricane Cocktail Process Shot
Brittany Conerly

This essay is part of the series Diaspora Dining: Foods of the African Diaspora. In this monthly column with essays and recipes by Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., we explore the rich culinary traditions of the African diaspora.Harris is a culinary historian and the author of 13 books related to the African diaspora, including Vintage Postcards from the African World (University Press of Mississippi), My Soul Looks Back (Scribner) and High on the Hog (Bloomsbury USA), on which the Netflix documentary series High on the Hogis based. She is the 2020 recipient of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. For more from Harris on EatingWell, see Migration Meals: How African American Food Transformed the Taste of America and her Juneteenth Celebration Menu. Follow her on Instagram @drjessicabharris.


  • ¼ cup dark rum, such as Appleton Estate

  • 3 tablespoons white rum, such as Bacardi

  • 2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh pineapple juice

  • 1 tablespoon Rose's sweetened lime juice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons passion-fruit syrup

  • Crushed ice

  • 1 orange wedge

  • 1 maraschino cherry


  1. Combine dark rum, white rum, lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, Rose's and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add a scoop of crushed ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into a hurricane glass half-filled with crushed ice. Garnish with orange and cherry.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

291 Calories
21g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 1
Calories 291
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Total Sugars 18g
Added Sugars 11g 22%
Vitamin A 90IU 2%
Vitamin C 26mg 29%
Folate 12mcg 3%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Magnesium 6mg 1%
Potassium 139mg 3%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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