Happy Hurricane Season!

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Every year on June 1st, I celebrate the beginning of hurricane season by drinking a hurricane. Some years, I’m more ambitious than others — I recall a sort of Hurricane bar crawl in 2008, and the overindulgence of Hurricanes all weekend in 2011 — but it’s been an annual tradition dating back at least five summers now. =)

Since today is the first day of the 2012 hurricane season, and especially because it’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon, I encourage you to take a few minutes to sit back and enjoy one of the greatest rum drinks of all time. And while you’re sipping on my favorite boat drink, here’s a little history to contemplate. The hurricane originated in New Orleans in the 1940s, when tavern owner Pat O’Brien needed to unload a bunch of less-than-stellar rum (that he was forced to purchase in order to get his hands on some more popular whiskey and Scotch). He mixed it up with some fruit juices and gave it away to sailors, and eventually the drink caught on, later becoming popular throughout the U.S. and a staple Mardi Gras drink.

You may be thinking, “Then what does a hurricane have to do with hurricane season anyway?” And I’ll tell you. The hurricane drink was named after the hurricane glass, and the hurricane glass was fashioned after the hurricane lamp. The hurricane lamp was meant to prevent a flame from puttering out during high winds and hurricanes. Thus, the hurricane drink certainly has something to do with hurricane season…right? =)

Anyway, here are just a few ways you can ring in the 2012 hurricane season today:

1. Meet me at Mahi Mah’s later for a hurricane.

2. Visit the National Hurricane Center website to see if your name is on this year’s list.

3. Plan a little trip to New Orleans and hit up Pat O’Brien’s, home of the original hurricane.

4. Absorb yourself in some hurricane-related entertainment. Perhaps a movie, book or song?

5. Concoct your own hurricane by mixing up 2 oz. light rum, 2 oz. dark rum, 3 oz. orange juice, 3 oz. pineapple juice and a dash of grenadine over ice. Garnish with an orange slice, a cherry and a little paper umbrella, and have a fabulous weekend! =)

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