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Sweet, Fruity and Packs a Punch - Meet the Originators of the Legendary New Orleans Hurricane, Pat O

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Pat O'Brien's souvenir

This souvenir from the late 1940's / early 1950's couldn't be more bang on. You'd need a souvenir to make sure you remember a night after visiting Pat O'Brien's. No trip to New Orleans is complete without a few things, one of which is a trip to this legendary spot in the heart of the French Quarter to sample the original Hurricane. The Chef and The Dish team loves us a good Hurricane (or two). This sweet and fruity drink packs a punch. Like, a real punch. A punch so strong that by the time you've finished your first drink you're looking for a photo to remember the night.

With it being Mardi Gras, we decided to sit down with the creators of the first Hurricane, Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans, to get a heavy pour on the history of the Hurricane and its significance of it to New Orleans.

The original hurricane is made with lots of rum, passionfruit juice and fresh lemon

How would you describe a Hurricane to someone who has never tried one before?

"The Hurricane is sweet and strong so I tell people they have to try at least one, but they will sneak up on you, so pace yourself. All the time I'm met with people who tell me about the night they didn't listen to that advice. There are some funny videos online."

Pat O'Brien's is a legendary spot in the heart of New Orleans

How did the Hurricane become New Orlean's most iconic cocktail?

"In the mid-1940s, Pat O'Brien (shown here with actor also named Pat O'Brien) created the now legendary Hurricane. At the time, there was a shortage of bourbon and scotch. Whiskey companies sent "missionary men" to accompany regular salesmen and coerced bar owners into buying large quantities of a not-so-popular, hard-to-unload booze, which happened to be rum -- in outrageous amounts. We were forced to buy 50 cases or so, in order to get the bourbon and scotch we wanted.

We had to get rid of a lot, so four ounces of the booze nobody wanted, through trial and error, made its way into a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp with fresh lemon juice, passion fruit syrup and crushed ice. And of course as you know, this has become the most famous drink in the most famous bar in the wonderful and lively city of New Orleans."

The hurricane was invented in the 1940's and has been a legendary drink ever since

If someone is visiting New Orleans for the first time, Pat O’Brien’s is said to be a place you HAVE to visit. How did O’Brien’s become such a legendary spot in the historic French Quarter?

"Pat O'Brien's is a New Orleans original. This picture is one of our favourites and dates back to the 1940's. We've been around for a long, long time and have created some special things. We have multiple venues within Pat O'Brien's, including the Patio and Courtyard, the Main Bar and of course - our Piano Bar. You could come to Pat O'Brien's three nights in a row and have three entirely different experiences. And of course, we're consistent and are lucky to have an incredible staff."

Four ounces of alcohol is strong! For anyone who wants to venture into making their own Hurricane at home, what's in it - and do you have any tips?