The Intoxicologist

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beyond the Punch Bowl

There is already so much to worry about when planning a party, the last thing one wants to fret about is what everyone will drink. It is impossible for a host or hostess to play bartender to a crowd and still be able to mingle at their own party. Party punch seems so out of date, though. Punch recipes usually lack the same character that the trendy and classic cocktails that we order at our local hot spots have. Why not adapt a classic cocktail into a pitcher drink? Instead of serving drinks in the cutesy punch cups, use the same barware the stylish cocktail lounges are using.

The country’s largest revolving cocktail lounge is in New Orleans. The bar is the cleverly named Club 360 on the 33rd floor of the World Trade Centre. This trendy rooftop bar has seating for 500 and slowly rotates giving its patrons a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Party goers enjoy light appetizers, dancing to the wee hours of the morning, and quality cocktails, one of which is the aptly named Hurricane. But this isn’t the original Hurricane of New Orleans lore. Club 360 has modified the Hurricane into a pitcher version to quench the thirst of the masses.

The original Hurricane was created at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans out of necessity during World War II when rum was abundant and other liquors were in short supply. If a bar owner wanted to purchase a liquor, such as whiskey that was in high demand and short supply, liquor salesmen would require the purchase of up to fifty cases of rum in order to buy the one bottle of whiskey. The recipe for the Hurricane evolved due to an effort to keep the stockpile of rum flowing out of the bar. This would enable Pat O’Brien’s to continue to be able to purchase the short supply liquors that were in high demand. Ironically enough, the Hurricane was not named for the weather conditions New Orleans has to endure from time to time. The cocktail is served in a glass that mimics the shape of a hurricane lamp. The cocktail is named for the curvaceous glass.

Club 360’s Hurricane

24 oz Pineapple Juice
24 oz Orange Juice
8 oz Light Rum
8 oz Grenadine
8 oz Dark Rum, preferably Myers
Garnish: Orange Wheels and Maraschino Cherries

Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a large pitcher or container. Refrigerate until well chilled; at least 2 hours. Stir before serving. Fill old fashioned glasses with ice and fill with the Hurricane cocktail. Garnish with an orange wheel and cherry. (I have modified the directions slightly for ease of serving at a party in smaller portions. Club 360 serves their Hurricane in pint glasses with the dark rum saved as a splash on the top of the drink instead of mixed in with the rest of the ingredients.)

Hurricane

1 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Light Rum
1/2 oz Galliano
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Passion Fruit Nectar or Passion Fruit Syrup
2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Garnish: Orange Wheel, Lime Wheel, Pineapple Chunk

Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a hurricane glass filled half full with ice. Spear the orange and lime wheels together making a curve on a cocktail pick followed by the pineapple chunk for the garnish.

Go beyond the punch bowl at your next party. You can modify your favorite cocktails into pitcher versions to the delight of your party guests in lieu of the dreaded sparkling punch. Serve it up in the traditional barware it was meant for and you’ll have a winner every time.

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