Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to Make the Best Hurricane Cocktail this Summer

Hand Grenades and Hurricanes — two infamous cocktails that each, typically, have enough liquor in them to make you lightheaded before you can even get around to ordering another one. If you’ve been to New Orleans, specifically Pat O’Brien’s (where the cocktail originated in 1941), you’ll know what I’m talking about. While there is no art in crafting a Hand Grenade (a mix of gin, rum, vodka, melon liqueur, and pineapple juice), the bastardized Hurricane cocktail actually has some sophistication to it when mixed properly.

Many Hurricane cocktails that make it onto menus are adulterated with absurd quantities of artificial, poorly made fassionola syrup — a pillar of the original recipe that has been lost to time, created by legendary tiki bartender, Donn Beach.

Now, contemporary cocktail bartenders have come up with a more balanced composition that ditches the amalgamation of fruit juices and syrups, which you’ll often find on Bourbon Street in NOLA, and employs a simple balance of citrus juice and sweetener to accompany the rum. “If it’s great rum, fresh citrus, and homemade passion fruit syrup then you’re going to have a great time,” Mitch Wilson, global ambassador for Black Tot says, “and you’ll be ordering them all night — if you start seeing boxed juice and neon glow in the dark grenadine then maybe have a daiquiri first and see if you trust them to go all the way.”

Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock


  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1 ounce citrus juice (lemon or lime)
  • 1 ounce passion fruit syrup


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice; shake until chilled, then strain over crushed ice into a hurricane glass.
  2. Garnish with an orange wheel and a brandied Luxardo maraschino cherry.

Tips on Crafting the Best Hurricane

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“At its best (and most basic), a Hurricane should be a very simple sour style swizzle — 2 parts rum, 1 part citrus, 1 part sweetener,” Gergö Muráth, bar manager at Trailer Happiness in London, says. Many of the neon-red Hurricanes that you’ll drink at bars use upwards of 4 ounces of rum, which is a bit hefty if not balanced properly. In the case of Muráth’s swizzle template, that would mean there would be 2 ounces each of citrus juice and syrup if you were to include 4 ounces of rum.

Citrus: Fresh citrus, not sour mix, is key. “The citrus is sometimes lime, but I prefer lemon,” Muráth says.

Sweetener: To balance the sour, the sweetener is where many bartenders go wrong. If you are cocktail-savvy and can pull off a quality fassionola syrup, go for it; otherwise, sticking to a passion fruit syrup is the safe bet. “There are decent commercial options (Monin comes to mind), but your best bet is to buy a decent passion fruit puree (Boiron especially), and mix it with sugar syrup,” Muráth says. “I like using 2:1 (sugar to water), because it gives you fantastic texture, and you need less to achieve the ideal ratio.” Another great craft passionfruit syrup worth trying is by Small Hand Foods.

Type of Rum: When it comes to which rum to choose, it’s best to employ a blended rum or develop your own custom blend for depth and complexity. “For our house Hurricane (which happens to be my favorite drink on our menu) we use 2 ounces of Real McCoy 3 year from Barbados,” Muráth says. Muráth says it’s ideal to select something funky and flavorful from Jamaica, Barbados, or Guyana; or all three in the case of Black Tot rum. Rums such as Equiano, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve, and the Haitian Rhum Barbancourt are other expressions worth considering.

Ice: Once you have your citrus, sweetener, and rum ready to mix, you’ll need lots of crushed ice as the dilution and temperature are key to crafting the perfectly balanced Hurricane to drink this summer.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Zielinski
Tyler is a New York-based freelance cocktail and spirits journalist, competitive bartender, and bar consultant. He is an…
What Does a Low-Waste Cocktail Really Look Like?
Andaz Tokyo

When we initially decided to explore this trendy topic, we asked some expert sources questions about “closed-loop” cocktails (a phrase that you will see and hear often as sustainable cocktails continue to become increasingly popular). Drinkers and non-drinkers alike are becoming more conscious about their decision-making as it relates to the environment. Additionally, it’s a factor that many individuals weigh heavily before deciding on things like one shirt versus another -- or, in this case, one cocktail versus another. You might just be one of these people -- but when it comes to the concept of the “closed-loop,” it’s not so straightforward.

“I try to avoid this term when talking about cocktails,” Brooke Toscano, managing partner at Pouring Ribbons and an advocate of sustainability in bars, says. “A closed-loop cocktail, to me, seems rather unlikely in the sea of 'sustainable' cocktail menus out there. When you reuse or repurpose your waste you will typically still be left with a lot of packaging that is getting set out to be recycled. Most aren't thinking about how likely it is that their recycled goods actually get recycled. Then you have the environmental impact of your item and deliveries. It's a rather complicated loop so to say something is closed loop in the cocktail world, seems more complicated.”

Read more
Would You Pay $350 for a ‘Cocktail Pod’ Machine that Dispenses Mixed Drinks?
cocktail pods feature c58f828c 2699 4d99 8d3d 40957c30656c 1728x

The Bartesian Image used with permission by copyright holder
Virtual reality bartending? Check. Mechanical fruit harvesters? Yep. Drones surveying and mapping vineyards? Naturally.
The future of the drinks business is already here and it’s evolving exceptionally fast. In many ways, the pandemic is accelerating things, making it easier for you to imbibe at home via takeout cocktails, or engage in virtual tasting. One of the most recent developments is the cocktail pod, a Keurig-friendly hooch capsule that will turn into a mixed drink with the push of a button.
Related Guides

Essential Cocktail Recipes
Best Barware

Read more
Meet the Togroni, The DIY Portable Cocktail That’s Sweeping Instagram
togroni feature

In a year when socializing has gone digital and drinking has become DIY, innovation has been a necessity in the cocktail game. Bartenders have been forced to concoct creative solutions from canned cocktails to virtual happy hours to remain solvent, and patrons have been left to entertain themselves with flask tipples in front of the TV. We all miss the camaraderie and togetherness that came with drinking with strangers, and with bars either closed or trapped behind plexiglass, any solution that brings people together over drinks is welcome right now. Which is why you should get your hands on a Togroni.

The Togroni is exactly what you think it is, but probably not the way you think. It’s a to-go Negroni made by securing nips of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth together with packing tape and, when the time is right, pouring them in unison into a glass. It’s a simple and satisfying process that proves old drinks can definitely learn new tricks. But it isn’t just a drink, it’s an entire movement. 

Read more