Located in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, Pat O’Brien’s is a prime destination for tourists who may not know its past as a popular speakeasy. On December 3, 1933, two days after the repeal of Prohibition, Pat O’Brien converted his speakeasy, Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary, into a legal drinking establishment on the 600 block of St. Peter Street. When business began to grow, O’Brien moved his bar to its present location at 718 St. Peter. The current Pat O’s offers a main bar, patio, and patio lounge.
Pat O’Brien’s signature drink, the Hurricane, was invented in the 1940’s during World War II when manufacturing replaced distilleries, making whiskey scarce. To obtain a single case of whiskey, bar owners would have to order 50 cases of rum. The abundance of rum inspired employees at Pat O’s to create a new cocktail, and the Hurricane, a rum-based drink, was born.
The daily “Dueling Pianos” show is a crowd favorite. Taking the late 1800s dueling piano concept, Pat O’Brien’s turned the show into an audience-driven experience. Piano players and other musicians perform songs based on requests from the audience, and “battle” for tips and crowd reactions.
Now owned by the Oechsner family, Pat O’Brien’s has expanded into out-of-state locations to Orlando, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas.
At Pat O’Brien’s, Hurricanes are made with a mix of rum and Hurricane mix from the original recipe crafted in the 1940s. The drink is served in a distinctive glass stamped with the Pat O’Brien’s logo. For tourists, these glasses are sought-after souvenirs of New Orleans.
Although the Pat O’Brien’s recipe remains a secret, here’s a close match:
A traditional hurricane includes:
-2 oz. light rum
-2 oz. dark rum
-2 oz. passion fruit juice
-1 oz. orange juice
-1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
-1 tbsp. simple syrup
-1 tbsp. grenadine
- an orange slice and cherry to garnish.