I wasn't paying much attention as the day started, but apparently it was Mardi Gras today. I don't know a lot about Mardi Gras, other than associating it with New Orleans. Continuing my ignorance, I've never been to New Orleans. Someday I'll have a chance to go and visit Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 and attend Tales of the Cocktail, not to mention see the rest of that legendary city. Of course New Orleans has its share of cocktails associated with it and one of the more notorious of those cocktails is the Hurricane.
The Hurricane is reportedly a creation of Pat O'Brien. In it's original formulation, it's not exactly a nuanced cocktail. It's a lot of rum and a lot of juice. The juices themselves vary (maybe some orange or lemon juice, plus something tropical and/or something red), but it's not a particularly subtle drink. The legend is that O'Brien created it as a way to offload the rum he had to buy from his liquor distributors in order to keep the scotch and other whiskeys flowing into his bar.
A few years ago, when Smith & Cross Jamaican rum hit the market, Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice started publishing various recipes featuring that lovely Jamaican rum. Her reinterpretation of a Hurricane using Smith & Cross added a lot of depth to the cocktail while still packing a punch that you'd expect from a Hurricane. I found it a recipe worth coming back to again and again. And so when I was reminded today was Mardi Gras - well that just seemed like a fine reason to reach for my hurricane glass and the bottle of Smith & Cross.