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The Original Hurricane Recipe

The Hurricane is one of those cocktails with dozens of different recipes circulating around the web. But what was the original recipe? And how did the classic become the bright red drink it is today? Read on to learn about both the simple original and the more complex modern recipe!

classic Hurricane cocktail close up with orange slice and a cherry

The history of the Hurricane cocktail

Although contemporary recipes call for the addition of orange juice, lime juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, simple syrup, or other ingredients, the first Hurricane was actually just a simple blend of rum, passion fruit syrup, and lemon juice.

The drink originated in New Orleans during the 1940s at Pat O’Brien’s bar. When the bar’s distributor required purchases of (less popular) rum in order to buy the whiskey the bar needed, the recipe was born.

Using up to 4 ounces of rum, the cocktail was intended to get rid of the excess rum quickly. However, the drink was unexpectedly popular, eventually becoming the iconic New Orleans Hurricane we know today.

Want more classic misunderstood rum cocktails? Try the Original Mai Tai!

How did the Hurricane recipe change so much?

The recipe’s change from three simple ingredients to a neon red mix is thought to be due to demand.

As the Hurricane’s popularity grew, it needed to be produced quickly and on a larger scale, leading Pat O’Brien’s to switch to a pre-batched cocktail mix.

Some sources say that the first Hurricanes were made with fassionola syrup, a somewhat mysterious red-colored tropical fruit-flavored syrup made with a variety of ingredients, most notably passion fruit.

Homemade easy fassionola syrup

Fassionola would have lent early Hurricanes a reddish hue, that grenadine would later replace. If you want to recreate the earliest Hurricane, you can replace the passion fruit syrup listed below with my easy to make fassionola. Get the Fassionola Syrup Recipe.

For the Hurricane pictured here, I’ve used Liber & Co Passion Fruit Syrup. You can also easily make your own passion fruit simple syrup with either fresh or frozen passion fruit.


What ingredients are in Pat O’Brien’s modern Hurricane?

The Hurricanes served at Pat O’Brien’s today are made with a blend of rums, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and simple syrup. (I’ll include this recipe with the original below).

If you visit New Orleans, make a stop at Pat O’Brien’s and enjoy a modern Hurricane at its birth place. And if you’re looking for a fun Mardi Gras cocktail to enjoy from the comfort of your home, try the original recipe below!

You may also like these other classic New Orleans cocktails: Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, Vieux Carre, Absinthe Frappe.

Make it a Hurricane Daiquiri

All out of lemons? Make the classic recipe below with lime juice instead of lemon and you’ve got what I like to call a Hurricane Daiquiri. Lime and passion fruit are equally as tasty as lemon and passion fruit and it’s a really easy variation to try. Throw the ingredients and a cup of crushed ice in a blender and enjoy a delicious frozen Hurricane Daiquiri!

I recently made this recipe and shared my favorite way to make passion fruit syrup over on Instagram. Check out the video above!

A tall yellow tropical drink in a hurricane glass.
A tall yellow tropical drink in a hurricane glass.

The Original Hurricane Recipe

Amy Traynor
This simple and refreshing rum cocktail was originally just rum, lemon juice, and passion fruit syrup. Find both the original and the modern day recipes below!
4.16 from 26 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 4 oz rum (usually aged rum or equal parts aged and white)
  • 2 oz passion fruit syrup or fassionola syrup
  • 2 oz lemon juice


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a couple small pieces of ice.
  • Shake until the ice has dissolved, then open pour the cocktail into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Stir, top with more crushed ice, and garnish with an orange slice and a cocktail cherry.


Fassionola Syrup Recipe
Modern Hurricane Recipe
  • 2 oz aged rum
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 tbsp grenadine
  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and add a couple of small pieces of ice. Shake until the ice dissolves.
  2. Open pour the cocktail into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice.
  3. Stir, top with more crushed ice, and garnish with an orange slice and a cocktail cherry.
Keyword fassionola, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, rum,
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