Fat Tuesday is almost here, so we’re getting in the spirit with a passionfruit La Croix hurricane. This twist on the New Orleans classic has the familiar flavors of the hurricane without all the sugar. (Don’t worry, I’ll include a few options for a sweeter version as well.) Like most people reading this, I don’t live in New Orleans, but there’s no reason why we can’t still have a little fun!
The historic district I work in celebrates EVERYTHING. (It’s super quirky and we absolutely love it.) The street gets closed down several times a year for various festivals and street fairs, and a harvest parade. We enjoy having an excuse to decorate, get dressed up and enjoy some spectacular food and drink specials we wouldn’t normally find.
This past year has looked a bit different, with socially distanced versions of events, and Christmas festivities lasting well into January, but I still think about the last real celebration we had before COVID. Despite being in Colorado (far from New Orleans), we had a pretty fun little micro version of Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. A brass band went marching up and down the street, with a throng of costumed celebrants in tow, gathering in various local businesses to celebrate.
I’ve been thinking about that event lately with Fat Tuesday just around the corner again. The absurdity of having so many people gathered in a small space seems like a far off dream nowadays, but we’re finding ways to do a socially distanced celebration this year. Although the brass band and Mardi Gras beads were fun, what I’m really reminiscing about is the vegan gumbo and hurricane cocktails!
For the restaurant, we definitely made the cocktails a bit more traditional; however, after trying passionfruit La Croix by itself, I couldn’t resist making a passionfruit La Croix hurricane. This version has less sugar, doesn’t require passionfruit syrup or purée, and tastes delicious.
Let’s not pretend that it’s going to taste the exactly the same without all the sugar, but if you like La Croix or other seltzer waters, you’re going to love this. It’s subtle, but the depth of flavor is much more complex than drinking a seltzer by itself. The small amount OJ gives it just enough sweetness to lessen the tart flavor of the pomegranate and the acidity of the lime.
If you want to use tart cherry juice instead of pomegranate, that will also work well. If you want a more balanced, sweet cocktail, you can also add 3/4oz of simple syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar to hot water) or substitute a tart cherry liqueur or pomegranate liqueur in place of the pomegranate juice. I personally like it as is, but just know that if you don’t enjoy the tartness, adding sugar is an option. If you’re not really looking for a passionfruit La Croix hurricane, and you’d rather go full-sugar, you’ll want to use passionfruit syrup instead of the soda.
If you do not have bar tools already, I would suggest getting a basic bartender kit/shaker set, since buying bar tools individually can get kind of pricey. If you want something more advance, this Barfly kit offers a variety of options.
Cocktail Shaker – You’ll need a cocktail shaker to make your passionfruit La Croix hurricane properly, along with a strainer if you’re shaker doesn’t have one built in. You can try stirring it instead, but the results won’t be the same. Shaking emulsifies the ingredients and adds air to the cocktail, altering the overall texture. Since we’re topping the cocktail with soda, however, shaking is probably slightly less crucial, but I’d still strongly recommend it.
Jigger – A jigger is helpful for measuring ingredients, but if you don’t have a jigger, just keep in mind that a tablespoon is 1/2 an ounce. If you want more accurate measurements, but don’t make cocktails often enough to justify the purchase of a jigger, Anchor makes a glass measuring cup that is super helpful for measuring liquids in the kitchen, and can easily be used for cocktails as well.
Strainer – Depending on the type of cocktail shaker you’re using, it might have a strainer built in. Otherwise you’ll want to get a Hawthorne strainer. In a pinch, you can probably get away with not straining at all, as long as you’re using decent quality ice (from an ice cube tray, not the skinny ice maker kind), but it’s not ideal and won’t be a good option for most cocktails.
Citrus Juicer – While you can definitely cut limes into wedges and squeeze them by hand instead, it can be fairly time-consuming. This Kitchenaid citrus squeezer is less messy than others because the juice catches in the bottom and pours out the side.
Making the Passionfruit La Croix Hurricane Cocktail
Add both rums and all three juices to the shaker (see note), along with simple syrup, if using. Add ice (should be enough to sit above the liquid), then seal the shaker and shake hard for about 20-30 seconds. Strain over fresh ice in a 16oz-20oz glass, then top with a half can 4-6oz of passionfruit-flavored La Croix. Garnish with an orange wedge and cocktail cherry.
If you make this passionfruit La Croix hurricane, or try any of the recommended variations, please let us know in the comments!
Passionfruit La Croix Hurricane
- 1 oz Aged Rum
- 1 oz White Rum
- 1.5 oz Orange juice
- .75 oz Tart cherry Juice (or substitute pomegranate juice)
- .75 oz Simple syrup (optional, see note)
- .5 oz Lime, fresh squeezed and strained
- 6 oz Passionfruit La Croix
- Garnish with cherry and orange
- Add the aged rum, white rum, OJ and tart cherry juice to the shaker, along with simple syrup (if using).
- Add ice, then seal the shaker and shake hard for about 20-30 seconds.
- Strain over fresh ice in a 16oz-20oz glass, then top with a half can 4-6oz of passionfruit-flavored La Croix.
- Garnish with an orange wedge and cocktail cherry.