In the 1940s, Pat O’Brien, the eponymous proprietor of Pat O’Brien’s Bar, created the rum-based Hurricane to get rid of excess rum from liquor distributors (O’Brien really wanted him to get his hands on some whiskey). The popularity of the beverage reflected the popularity of his bar, with dueling pianos and, in the courtyard, a flaming fountain.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is another historic bar that makes great Hurricanes -- made with both light and dark rum, lime, orange, and passionfruit juices, and grenadine. Lafitte’s is old, even by New Orleans standards, built between 1722-1732 and untouched by two large fires which burned the French Quarter down in the 1800s. Allegedly, it was used as a hideout and base of operations in the late 1700s for smuggler bros/local heroes Jean and Pierre Lafitte.
To keep the 19th-century vibe alive, the bar is lit by candles -- the only electric lights are behind the bar and in the bathrooms. It didn’t become a bar until the mid 1940s, when Roger “Tom” Caplinger turned it into Cafe Lafitte, and it became the hotspot for bohemians and the local and visiting gay community. Caplinger didn’t own the building, so when it was sold in 1953, he moved his business down the block and opened Cafe Lafitte in Exile. Open 24/7, Exile is historic in its own right as the oldest gay bar in New Orleans and, it is believed, the country.