RECIPE + VIDEO | Celebrate Norfolk Festevents’ 46th annual Harborfest with a Storm’s Brewing Cocktail (our version of a Hurricane!)

Storm’s Brewin’ Cocktail

America’s largest, longest-running, free maritime festival, the iconic Norfolk Harborfest® enters its 46th year in 2022, presented by Norfolk Festevents.

Celebrate this sea-centric fete with our STORM’S BREWIN’ COCKTAIL, a take on the classic Hurricane. Note: celebrate at home before or after the festival: alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be brought into Town Point Park, site of the event.


Punches have always been a favorite drink in Virginia, but large format drinks served in pitchers are following new trends. We take a little bit of the old and a little bit of the new with our Storm’s Brewin’ drink, designed for a 64-ounce pitcher to serve 8 thirsty folks.

It’s our Virginia-fied take on the classic New Orleans Hurricane cocktail. In face, when Hurricane creator Pat O’Brien was running a speakeasy in the Crescent City, the password was Storm’s Brewin’.  Certainly Coastal Virginia has a long history with hurricanes, nor’easters, and other storms too, as well as trade with the Caribbean, which is why we swap out the hard-to-find passionfruit juice in the original for the more apropos pineapple juice.

Also, pineapples have long been a symbol of Virginia hospitality.  Here are recipes for making the Storm’s Brewin’ cocktail individually and in a batch.

Individual Cocktail Ingredients

2 ounces dark or spiced rum

2 ounces white rum

1 ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 ounce grenadine syrup

Orange wedge

Moonshine cherries

Individual Cocktail Method

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the dark rum, white rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, and grenadine and shake vigorously.

Either pour into a tall glass, including the ice, or strain into a martini glass. Skewer several moonshine cherries and add to glass along with the orange wedge.

Batch Cocktail Ingredients

16 ounces dark or spiced rum

16 ounces white rum

12 ounces pineapple juice

8 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice

8 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice

4 ounces grenadine syrup

3-4 oranges, sliced

Moonshine cherries

Batch Cocktail Method

In a 64-ounce pitcher, combine the dark/spiced rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, and grenadine. Stir to incorporate. Add half the orange sliced and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until chilled.

Pour cocktail into individual glasses filled with ice and garnish with remaining orange slices. Skewer several moonshine cherries and add to glass.  

Moonshine Cherries Ingredients

1 pound cherries, pitted (such as Bing)

1 orange peel, cut into thick strips

1 pint clear corn whiskey, such as moonshine

Moonshine Cherries Method

Combine the cherries and orange peel in a pint jar. Pour the whiskey over the top to completely cover the cherries. Seal and shake slightly; allow the cherries to steep at room temperature for at least 72 hours before using.

Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator, the cherries will keep for up to 3 months.

Yields 8 cocktails

This recipe appears in my book, “Virginia Distilled: Four Centuries of Drinking in the Old Dominion.” Visit to purchase an autographed copy.


For three memorable days along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront June 10-12, Harborfest celebrates all of the elements that make Norfolk and Hampton Roads a historic maritime and Naval community.

On both land and sea, thrilling activities and live music take center stage at Harborfest, including the annual Parade of Sail featuring international tall ships, one of the largest fireworks shows on the East Coast, a mesmerizing drone show, interactive family games and activities, Navy exhibits and demonstrations, artisan foods and beverages, national and regional live entertainment, and much more.

Mark your calendars for Friday-Sunday, June 10-12, 2022 for one of Hampton Roads’ biggest summertime events!

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