Sunday, February 12, 2012


Pat O'Brien's, $8

After you've spent the afternoon screaming encouragement at a stream of dressed-up dogs roaming the streets during the Mystic Krewe of Barkus--Mardi Gras' only canine-friendly parade (see below)--it makes a certain kind of sense to recuperate in a smoky bar screaming Elton John songs over foot-tall glasses of rum dressed up as fruit juice.

Pat O'Brien's is a legendary and labyrinthine bar complex with lounges, a courtyard, a cavernous dueling piano bar, and a house drink, the Hurricane, whose original purpose was to maximize rum consumption. The bar's founder came up with the recipe during World War II when cheap booze ran freely but top shelf liquors were scarce; crafty salesmen required bars to buy dozens of cases of rum per every one case of whiskey. At O'Brien's the surplus rum was sweetened and served over ice in a glass the size and shape of a hurricane lamp.

Today you can take your Hurricane glass home as a souvenir--which seems like kind of a cruel thing to suggest to a drunk person.

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