After dinner, we return to the French Quarter and make our way up Bourbon Street. When the sun sets, the area bustles with the effusive din of partyers determined to make merry. We turn right onto Saint Peter and enter the carriageway of a 1791 building that once housed the first Spanish theatre in the United States. This is Pat O'Brien's, home of the world-famous Hurricane—a fruity rum concoction that originated here in the early 1940s. Albeit there's a wait for a table on the open-air Patio, it's well worth it.
Though I'm not particularly fond of sweet cocktails, I do make an exception with Pat O's Hurricane. We delight in the aura of the Patio Bar's flaming fire fountain as we sip a New Orleans original under the night sky.
"Now I know why they call it a Hurricane: the room was spinning when I got back to my hotel!" declared Brian, a colleague of mine from Canada, who thus described his baptism of fire here. In truth, the cocktail isn't all that potent, but it is insidious—it's probably advisable to stop at three. The real derivation of its name, incidentally, comes from the shape of the glass—similar to that of a hurricane lamp—in which the drink is served. (Customers receive their logo glass as a souvenir as they leave.)
The upshot: follow the advice of Pat O'Brien's motto and Have Fun!
718 Saint Peter Street (between Bourbon & Royal Sts)
New Orleans, LA 70116-3119 (map)
After stumbling out of Pat O's, consider taking in some of the other sights in the French Quarter …