Cocktails and music have always been at the heart of what it means to be Smokestack, a modern speakeasy greatly inspired by New Orleans.
To experience New Orleans is to dive head first into in a vast mixture of flavours and sounds. One day, you might be shaking your beads to street alley brass bands and sipping on tooth-achingly sweet Shark Attack cocktails. The next, you be can enjoying a freshly squeezed to order French 75 whilst listening to foot-tapping Jazz in the French Quarter.
It’s an intoxicating and liberating city to be in.
Our new cocktail menu aims to encompass all of this, each page embracing a different aspect of NOLA culture. Alongside these new additions, we’ve kept the historic favourites that our guests over the years have consumed, quite literally, in their thousands.
We’ll be showcasing the menu here one cocktail at a time; talking about the relevant history and how we have put our Smokestack twist on it.
First up is our biggest seller, the Hurricane Smokestack.
Invented in 1942 at Pat O’Brien’s bar as a means to use up unwanted rum! During prohibition, American’s were happy to drink whatever spirit was available, but their favourite was always whiskey. When ‘The Great Experiment’ was finally over, whiskey was firmly at the forefront of the drinker’s minds.
Unfortunately, the majority of distilleries had been shut down and so, supply had dwindled greatly. This was further impacted by WWII, which limited access to any of that delicious Scotch or Irish whisky coming from Great Britain. To make matters worse, the remaining American distilleries were forced to make airplane fuel instead of alcohol as part of the war effort. This left Pat O’Brien with fewer libations to offer his patrons.
Although his suppliers were able to get hold of some whiskey, there was a surplus of rum. Merchants enforced a requirement that for every 1 case of whiskey, 12 cases of rum had to be bought!
The Cocktail Formula…
Pat was at a loss as to how to wade through all his unwanted rum and so threw down the gauntlet as a challenge to the local bartenders. Who could come up with the tastiest concoction? And thus, after many entries, the Hurricane was born. The name was inspired by Pat O’Brien’s stint as a speakeasy where the password was “storm’s brewing”.
The original recipe was a mix of dark and light rums, passionfruit, and lime. The famous glass shape, inspired by the lamp of the same name.
At Smokestack, our take on the Hurricane has improved a little each year. It has continued to develop as we tweaked our recipe to find the perfect balance of rum, sour, sweet, and aromatic spices.
Despite these many changes, the heart of what makes the drink so popular is the refreshing easy-going nature that characterises the cocktail. An accessible blend of invigorating tropical fruits, zesty citrus and bracing rums from the Caribbean. It’s a Smokestack party in a glass.
Lime Husk Cordial**
Shake hard and serve in a Hurricane glass
Garnish with a flaming lime husk filled with Wray & Nephew rum
*Appleton reserve & white rums. Wray & Nephew overproof rum. Passionfruit & Grenadine syrup, falernum, pimento dram liqueur.
**A sugar oil is created using leftover lime shells. If you’d like a step-by-step guide to creating your own cordial, check out our ‘Don’t Waste, Drink!’ series.