The Hurricane is perhaps New Orleans’ most famous cocktail. But for at least a decade, Bourbon Street tourists have been sipping versions of the drink made without one of its original ingredients. That changes today.
New Orleans-based Cocktail & Sons today launches its Fassionola, a strawberry-and-tropical-fruit syrup that’s the second release in its limited-edition syrups line. Thanks to a bumper crop of intensely sweet Louisiana strawberries, Cocktail & Sons founder Max Messier was able to recreate this long-lost syrup, but it’ll be available only on a limited basis.
Company founder Max Messier explains the history of this ingredient as it first emerged in New Orleans: “During the 1940s, Pat O’Brien owned a bar in the French Quarter. At that time it was tough to get whiskey in, but there was plentiful rum and easy access to it as it came right up the river, and so bar owners were forced by their suppliers to purchase large quantities of rum in order to also obtain the other spirits that they needed. O’Brien had to find a way to move all that rum off his shelves and that’s how the Hurricane was born; out of necessity. We’ve done some research and discovered that the Fassionola syrup was one of the original components of the Hurricane, the drink for which Pat O’Brien’s became famous.”
A California company was known for producing a Fassionola syrup, but they stopped making it close to a decade ago. And so, Cocktail & Sons is the first to revive and commercially produce the beautiful crimson syrup. It’s an easy-to-use ingredient in delicious at-home cocktail creation and satisfies the growing appreciation for tiki-style cocktails developed by skilled bartenders. Messier’s layered flavors reveal the beauty of the local strawberries as well as tropical fruits buoyed by a perfect balance of raw and white sugar, a testament to the multi-step process he uses to make it. Each element of the Fassionola warrants a unique production process to extract and maximize its flavor potention, from macerated strawberries to long-cooked tropical fruits to steeped hibiscus flowers.The Fassionola syrup has myriad applications, including the Hurricane, of course, most any kind of tiki drink and even old-school classics like the Jack Rose., “You can use it in pretty much anything where you’d use grenadine,” Messier says.
Messier adds, “We are truly limited in production by what the produce schedule will be. In Louisiana, the strawberries are just out, and mangoes and pineapples become plentiful in April and May, so we marry it all together now. There’s a real economic consideration to it. If we try and do a pineapple syrup out of season the price will just be out of line for what a drink modifier should be. We prefer to keep cocktail menu prices down and allow bars to run their drink costs efficiently. And for those buying it for their home bar, we want them to have a chance
to explore this new product at a comfortable price point and do with it what they should; which is emulate my father-in-law who welcomed all guests to his home in New Orleans with a large punch bowl filled with a beautiful Hurricane that featured Fassionola syrup made right there.”
Cocktail & Sons Fassionola will be available only through June 30th at stores in and around New Orleans, as well as select retailers elsewhere in Louisiana, and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. It is also available for purchase online. The suggested retail price is $22.00 for an 8-ounce bottle.
The syrup is the second in a planned annual series of limited-edition products, with a switchel—a mix of ginger, honey and cider vinegar—planned for the summer. These join Cocktail & Sons’ regular line of artisanal cocktail syrups, including Spiced Demerara, Oleo Saccharum, Honeysuckle & Peppercorns and Mint & Lemon Verbena.
For more information, visit cocktailandsons.com.