An intimate home gathering
As a native of Los Angeles, hurricane parties aren’t something I grew up familiar with, so when I moved to Atlanta last year and Hurricane Irma hit, I was wholly unprepared. I found myself in the grocery store, along with every other ATLien, scrambling for bottled water and Cheetos. I’m glad to report I survived my first hurricane, and so did my beloved new hometown, with only a few minor scratches.
I’ve since learned that hurricane parties are an actual thing celebrated along the southeastern coast and by those in hurricane alley, where storms are known to make landfall. The basic idea is to get a few friends together, hole-up at whoever’s home is on higher ground/has the best resources and then eat and drink until either you pass out or the power goes out (or both).
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to have a hurricane party. However, with a pretty good chance that your home will lose power at least once, snacks and beverages that don’t require refrigeration are ideal. Here are a few ideas.
Turns out you didn’t leave behind your love of cold pizza in college. Before the storm hits, order a few boxes with your favorite toppings. Take-out pizza doesn’t really require refrigeration and there truly is something about eating it cold the next day that screams comfort food.
Since this hurricane party is as much about fun as it is functionality, consider asking friends to grab a few boxes of fried chicken and ready-made sandwhiches (or "Pub Subs") from the grocery store before stopping at your house for additional food options.
Pantry staples, like canned beans and tomatoes, make for perfect hurricane party fare. No need to heat or refrigerate this salsa, just open, mix and serve with tortilla chips. Here's how to make this three-ingredient masterpiece:
Open three cans of black beans (or any other bean you'd like), drain and give them a quick rinse. Pour the beans into a large bowl and add a can of Ro-Tel and the juice of one lime. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with several bags of tortilla chips.
Here are some other completely easy snack ideas that will use up what you already have on hand:|
Vidallia Onion Dip
Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese
Don't let your alcohol go bad
Now, on to the part you’re really reading this for — the alcohol. Are there two better cocktails to wait out the storm than the dark 'n' stormy and the hurricane? I think not. These two drinks are not only easy to assemble, they’re also delicious and require only a little ice.
You can build a dark 'n' stormy right in a hurricane-approved red solo cup. Add 2 ounces dark rum, 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (if you've got it) and 3 ounces of ginger beer (or so) into a cup filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of lime if you're fancy.
A hurricane cocktail was made for this party. Think of this as your opportunity to clear out any juices you may have sitting in your fridge. Similar to the dark 'n' stormy, it doesn’t require any fancy glassware but be careful, it can sneak up on you. In that same solo cup (rinse it off and add a little ice), combine 3 ounces passion fruit juice, 2 ounces white rum, 2 ounces dark rum, 1 ounce orange juice, the juice of 1/2 lime, 1/2 tablespoon simple syrup and 1/2 tablespoon grenadine. Give it a stir and garnish with orange slices and cherries if you've got 'em.
Got some beer lovers in your crew? Don't worry we've got them covered as well:
Southern Kitchen's 15 favorite juicy, hazy and sessionable beers for day-drinking
A final word of warning
No hurricane party is complete without your safety, of course. Not all storms are meant to be waited out at home. Please keep a watchful eye on your weather report and listen to authorities in the event that they advise you to evacuate. Take cocktails with you either way.
Photo Credit (beans): Salvation Army/Flickr (license)