Friday, September 23, 2016

Hurricanes & Body on the Bayou

We still haven't recovered from Bouchercon in New Orleans last week, but it's OK, we don't have to let go of NOLA just yet. Ellen Byron is here today matching her new book, set in the bayous of New Orleans with the perfect drink - Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes. Ellen was here last week making Creole jambalaya and she has been a frequent Crafty Thursdays guest. Her first book, Plantation Shudders,made the USA Today Bestsellers list and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. 

Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and many network pilots; she’s written over 200 national magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. 

When you attend Tulane University, a rite of passage is to round up a group of merrymakers, head down to Pat O’Brien’s, and order a GIGANTIC three-gallon Hurricane – ignoring the sanitary ramifications of half-a-dozen or more revelers drinking from the same glass with a bunch of straws that inevitably get mixed up with each other.

There are a variety of entertaining stories about how the Hurricane came to be, but all the tales have one thing in common: Pat O’Brien. In 1933, he converted his speakeasy at 600 St. Peter Street into a legitimate bar. It became so popular that he moved it to a larger location on the same street, where it’s lodged ever since.

In the mid-1940's, there was a short supply of quality liquors like whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. There was, however, a ton of rum available. Bar owners were forced to buy large quantities of the rum, fifty cases or more, in order to purchase the other liquors. An effort to unload the unwanted booze led to the invention of new, rum-based drinks. Pat O'Brien poured one into a glass shaped like a Hurricane lamp and voila – a legendary cocktail was born.

The Hurricane is a fruity concoction that goes down easy, but trust me, it packs a Category 5 punch. Here are two recipes from one of my favorite websites,

Traditional Hurricane Recipe:

2 oz light rum
2 oz dark rum
2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon simple syrup
1 Tablespoon grenadine
Garnish: orange slice and cherry

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice. 

Pat O' Brien's Hurricane Recipe:

Mix 4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's Rum, or any good dark rum with 4 oz. Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Mix 
Fill 26 oz. glass with crushed ice 
Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry 

Mix can be purchased at Pat O'Brien's (800) 597-4823 or by visiting:


  1. Hurricanes are deadly but oh, so good! I love the title of this book and after being in NOLA, need to put it on my TBR pile.

  2. Thanks so much, Sharon. And I couldn't agree more about Hurricanes being deadly. I nursed that one in the pic ALL night! They're like spiked Hawaiian Punch.

  3. Great story about Pat O'Brien and the Hurricane. Can't wait to read your book Ellen. xo T

    1. Thanks so much, Terrie! And I have YOUR book! Can't wait either.

  4. Loved, loved and relished the plot, characters and setting of both Ellen' s books and now I am reading Terrie's book.

  5. Beth, I'm thrilled, I really appreciate the kind words! Toast yourself with a Hurricane. ;-)