Summer Syrup Series: Passion fruit syrup and the Hurricane

So far, all the cocktail syrups I’ve discussed in my Summer Syrup Series have come from the classic bartending tradition. Today’s, however, is drawn from an altogether different branch of the mixological family tree: Tiki drinks.

The Tiki tradition calls on a wide array of different syrups, from plain old simple syrup to orgeat to cinnamon- or ginger-infused syrup to coffee syrup. One of my favourites, though – a syrup that says “Tiki” to me more than any other – is passion fruit syrup. It adds a wonderful tropical fruit note to drinks that instantly makes them seem exotic.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a commercial passion fruit syrup that’s good for use in Tiki drinks. (One notable exception is B.G. Reynolds’ syrup.) Fortunately, if you have a store near you that carries Latin-American products, you’re halfway to making your own! Look in the freezers for passion fruit puree; it may be labelled with its Spanish name, “maracuya.”

Perhaps the most classic Tiki drink that incorporates passion fruit syrup, and almost certainly the simplest, is the Hurricane. There are myriad different Hurricane recipes floating around, but Beachbum Berry attributes the original to Pat O’Brien’s restaurant in New Orleans. Nowadays even they use a powdered mix, but the original original was nothing but rum, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup.

How to make passion fruit syrup

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Frozen passion fruit puree

Make some simple syrup by combining equal volumes of sugar and water and stirring over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, break off some of the frozen passion fruit puree and allow to thaw. Once thawed, measure it out, and combine with an equal volume of simple syrup. Store in the refrigerator. It may separate out as it sits; if so, simply shake to recombine before using.

How to make a Hurricane

  • 2 oz. dark rum, preferably Jamaican (I used Coruba, but Gosling’s works fine, too)
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 oz. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds, then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. It should be a hurricane glass, if you have one. (I don’t.) Also, you may then have to double all the ingredients to fill the glass, as the original recipe actually calls for… and I just can’t drink that much in one drink!

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