Hurricanes Kick Off Mardi Gras Party



Vinny seems to have abandoned his post in the past months. This has meant a noticeable dearth on this site of healthy but delicious recipes for growing families. In his wake, there is only… me.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras recipes were featured in my most recent cooking class in the run-up to Lent. I served some of what we learned at our annual gourmet evening, celebrating Mardi Gras style. I think Vinny would approve, though. Cajun cooking in New Orleans is rife with fresh seafood, hot spices, garlic, and a wild array of fresh veggies. Chicken is also an option.

Yes, there is also a little alcohol, cream and sugar in the mix. But I use coconut palm sugar to lessen the amount of sweetener required and reduce sugar spikes in the blood stream. Your alcohol and cream consumption is, well, up to you.

Purple, yellow and green have come to mark Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. One would think (as one of our guests cleverly pointed out) that it’s because these are the colors of Easter. In fact, it’s because they were the colors of the Russian Grand Duke  Romanov, who visited New Orleans during the carnival season of 1872. Purple signifies justice, green is for faith, and gold is for (what else?) power.

Hurricane, a traditional Mardi Gras Cocktail

Hurricane cocktail

Our Mardi Gras evening begins with a traditional Hurricane cocktail. It’s made with half white and half dark rum in a passionfruit mix. If you try to get away with using dark rum alone, your cocktail will taste too harsh. Top up with soda water if you want something a little less powerful. Fresh and tartly sweet, a Hurricane will get your Mardi Gras evening off to a lively start.

Hurricane, a traditional Mardi Gras Cocktail


Hurricane cocktail
Serves 8

• 6 ounces light rum
• 6 ounces dark rum
• 6 ounces passionfruit juice
• 4 ounces orange juice*
• juice of 2 limes
• 3 tablespoons passionfruit syrup (or simple syrup… or the stevia equivalent)
• ice
• 8 orange or lemon twists cut from 1 large navel orange or 2 lemons
• soda water, optional

*if, like with ours, your passionfruit juice brand comes already mixed with orange juice, use 10-12 ounces of it and omit the orange juice. It tastes delicious, even on it’s own!

Orange or lemon twists

  1. Slice a large naval orange (or your lemons) into eight thin, fairly even slices.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the ring open, then remove the fruit and some of the pith off the rind.
  3. Twist the rind tightly around your finger. Press into shape for a few seconds. The shape should hold inside the glass.

Assembling the cocktails

  1. Mix the rums and juices in a jug and refrigerate.
  2. Pour 3 ounces into a tall glass filled with ice. Add an orange twist.
  3. Top with soda water if desired, to lessen the taste (and effect) of the rum. I loved mine full strength, though. See what you think.
  4. Garnish your golden cocktail with a purple straw and a bit of greenery, to bring in all the colors of Mardi Gras.



You can feel very pious about drinking these Hurricanes, especially if you can find a juice that contains the pulp and seeds. Just look at all the nutrients passionfruit offers – antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein.

Nutrient levels in passionfruit are shockingly high, boosting immunity, keeping cancer at bay, improving vision and skin health, aiding digestion and enhancing heart health.

Hurricanes call for both passionfruit juice and passionfruit syrup, two very different products. They aren’t interchangeable. You can use a simple syrup in place of the passionfruit syrup if you like. Both products should be available at a good grocery store. For verily we say as we lead up to Easter: “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and ye shall find.”

Stay tuned for my next post where I explain how to put together some crab cakes that are light, crispy, and well-seasoned – perfect as an appetiser for a Mardi Gras dinner party.

Carpe Diem!

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