This is a specialty cocktail which was originally introduced in the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition by Pam Fortner and Earl Bernhardt, owners of the Tropical Isle Bar in New Orleans. They made this cocktail their signature, and it consequently became an exclusive drink by 721 Bourbon Inc. 1987 onwards, the “Hand Grenade” became a registered trademark, served in a translucent green glass container with a textured bulbous base, shaped to resemble a giant hand grenade. Consumers could only purchase this drink exclusively in its characteristic glass which had an embossed face on it, as well as its own name printed in bold black lettering.
The drink was advertised as “New Orleans’ Most Powerful Drink”, and it certainly lives up to the name. So popular is this incredible drink that Tropical Isle proudly proclaims itself “Home of the Hand Grenade”, and protects the secret recipe by ensuring that licensers and employees sign confidentiality agreements pledging to never reveal it.
With so much secrecy, trademarking and exclusivity protecting the identity of the original Hand Grenade recipe, this drink is made elsewhere by varied names. However, the flavour itself has been recreated a million times over by bartenders across the States, aspiring to refabricate the enigmatic flavours of this exceptionally distinctive cocktail.
The Hand Grenade is a tourist favourite in New Orleans, and is commonly associated with Mardi Gras due to its uncanny neon green glow and the eerie smile shaped into its glass. Cocktail enthusiasts rave about its sweet and strong tastes, going as far as to say that it is “well worth the hangover”!
Here’s the recipe for Like Hand Grenade:
- 46 ml Gin
- 45 ml Grain Alcohol
- 45 ml Melon Liqueur
- 45 ml Rum
- 45 ml Vodka
- Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes
- Stir all the ingredients together in the Collins glass
- Add water and sugar if desired, to taste
- Serve without garnish
- Collins glass
- Water (optional)
- Sugar (optional)