As the East Coast of the United States braces for the impact of mega Hurricane Irene, restaurants and hotels from North Carolina to New York City are getting ready for a major hit – financial as well as physical.
The approaching storm is now being compared to the legendary New England “Long Island Express” Hurricane of 1938 which caused over 400 million dollars-worth of damage and resulting in the death of over 600 people. President Obama has even addressed the nation via T.V. and advised everyone in the Hurricane’s path to take this storm VERY seriously.
The cancellation of the long awaited dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington D.C. is further confirmation that this storm is big, very big and very, very dangerous.
The many restaurants and hotels in New Orleans, who endured the very slow response to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina under the George Bush, Jr. Administration, are watching and wishing the best for their colleagues on the heavily populated eastern seacoast.
Because two-thirds of all hurricanes make landfall within the more southern region of the Gulf Coast, residents there are more historically acquainted with the possibility of stronger breezes and heavier gales. They have even adapted their Victorian wind-blocking “hurricane lamp” into the perfect glass that holds their favorite post-storm beverage: the famed Hurricane Cocktail.
During World War II, the owners of Pat O’Brian’s Bar had to purchase large quantities of the more available rum under wartime regulations in order to be able to obtain any amount of whiskey, bourbon or scotch. Faced with over 55 cases of unwanted rum, there had to be a way to save both the day and the Bar’s profit.
And that is how the rum-based Hurricane Cocktail came to be. Soon it was a must-have before, during and after any storm… be it actual or personal, for such is life.
Just be prepared: stock up, buy extra batteries and have a great network of professional friends to help you out if the waters rise. And be assured that the many chefs of New Orleans, who have not forgotten how the northern chefs aided them during their time of need, are standing ready to help their now storm-threatened colleagues in return.
Let us all hope such aid is not necessary, but be ever grateful that it is a given within our industry. Now that’s something we can all raise a glass to!
The Hurricane Cocktail (it's the perfect beverage for a benefit fund raiser!)
1 ounce Fresh Lemon or Lime juice
4 ounces Dark Rum
4 ounces Passion Fruit Syrup
Orange and/or Lime Slice
1 Maraschino Cherry
In a cocktail shaker, add lemon juice, rum, passion fruit syrup, and crushed ice; shake vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes.
Strain into a hurricane cocktail glass (but of course). Garnish with an orange and/or lime slice and a maraschino cherry. Serve with a long straw.
Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011