by Sam Harriss
September 19, 2020
Leave it to the beignets and chicory root coffee crowd to aptly create a cocktail for our wildest time of year – hurricane season. A season so extreme, Julius Caesar left it out of calendars entirely, and a drink so strong the memories of flashy plastic beads are smoggy dreamscapes at best.
Though the drink was born out of having too much rum and no way to sell it in an Irish pub, the Hurricane is a staple of New Orleans culture. Cue the zydeco music and the steady yo-yoing of weather and you have that eerie feeling the atmosphere conjures up right before the pressure drops and power flickers. All Outer Bankers know the feeling; some live for it, other wiser folk probably sense dread in the Weather Channel predictions.
I figure New Orleans can have its Hurricane cocktail, but our sandbar deserves a creation all its own. I think back to the days of filling the bathtub, double checking the candle stash, making sure all the batteries work, and no matter hell or high water ensuring there was beer in every cooler before the state of emergency was declared.
Not much has changed year to year, except all us locals without a doubt have a stash of Kill Devil Rum on hand. It’s probably hidden away in some forbidden crevice, under a floorboard or buried out back in a shallow pit, awaiting its time to be pulled into the pearly existence of the calm before the storm. Everyone knows you can’t keep the stuff safely away from glass or guest unless you hide it from yourself.
With limbo setting in and the National Guard pouring over our bridges, we wait for the moment with shovel in hand. And for all those faithful fellow fools like myself, staying and battening down the hatches, here’s a cocktail to take the edge off. But when that eye passes over remember: it’s not yet a beach day.
Batten Down the Hatches
1 ½ ounces Kill Devil Rum pecan honey rum
½ ounce banana syrup **
¾ ounce tangerine juice
1/2 pineapple juice
1/4 lime juice
Add all to shaker tin and shake, pour over crushed ice and garnish with a citrus slice.
**To make banana syrup add 1 cup demerara sugar to 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Add one chopped banana and bring to simmer until sugar dissolves. Let sit for 1-2 hours until cooled with strong banana flavor. Strain and keep in sealed container for a couple days in the refrigerator.
Sam Harriss is the owner/founder of Camp Cocktail, a mobile bartending business on the Outer Banks. When she’s not slinging drinks from the window of her remodeled 1969 Shasta camper trailer, you might find her nose-deep in a good book, a sleeping dog by her side.