Category 5 Cocktail Recipe

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Category 5 Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Category 5 cocktail is a powerhouse of flavors, named after the most intense type of hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It's a favorite among those who enjoy a strong, tropical drink with a kick. The cocktail's origins are a bit murky, but it's believed to have been inspired by the vibrant culture and festive spirit of the Caribbean.

  • Origins
    • The exact origin is unknown, but it's likely a creation of the late 20th century.
    • Its name reflects its potency and the impact it has on the drinker, much like a hurricane.
  • Popularity
    • It's popular in beach bars and tropical resorts.
    • Often enjoyed during summer months or at themed parties.
  • Audience
    • Perfect for those who love a combination of sweet and strong flavors.
    • Not recommended for light drinkers due to its high alcohol content.

How Category 5 Tastes?

The Category 5 cocktail is a symphony of sweet and fruity flavors with a robust alcoholic backbone. It's sweet from the grenadine and the fruit juices, with a tangy edge from the sour mix. The blend of light, spiced, and dark rums gives it a complex, rich flavor that's both warming and invigorating.

Interesting facts about Category 5

  • The cocktail's name is derived from the highest classification for hurricanes, indicating its strength.
  • It's a popular choice for Mardi Gras celebrations and other festive occasions.
  • Despite its fruity taste, the Category 5 is deceptively strong and should be enjoyed responsibly.


Grenadine Syrup

The dazzling red of grenadine syrup not only adds a pop of color but a gentle sweet base. It's like the bass guitarist of the band – often understated but without it, you'd miss that depth of flavor. No grenadine? Your cocktail might end up like a solo without a backtrack—missing its sweet harmony.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

Freshly squeezed orange juice is the zesty lead singer, giving that citrus punch. It brightens the drink and provides a refreshing high note. Too little and the drink falls flat, too much and it overpowers the intricate melody of rums.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

This tropical gem adds the perfect backup vocals with its sweet and tangy profile. It marries well with the rums for a harmonious tropical experience. Omit it, and the cocktail loses its holiday vibe.

Alex Green

Light Rum

The light rum is the smooth rhythm guitar, not too heavy but crucial for the foundational beat. It gives the cocktail its boozy lift without overpowering the other elements.

Emma Rose

Spiced Rum

Adding complexity with its warm and spicy notes, it's the keyboard player adding layers and texture to the sound.

Mary Mitkina

Dark Rum

The dark rum is the deep drum roll in the chorus, giving the drink its full-bodied richness and deeper alcohol warmth.

Alex Green

Peach Liqueur

Consider this the surprise saxophone solo - peach liqueur adds a fruity and sweet twist that makes you go 'wow'. Skip it, and you'll miss out on that unexpected hit that makes the song a hit.

Emma Rose

Sweet and Sour Mix

This mix is like the sound technician adjusting the treble and bass, essential for balancing the sweet and citrus, ensuring the drink isn't too sugary or too tart.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Category 5 Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour all the ingredients into the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
  4. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juices whenever possible for a brighter, more authentic flavor.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the drink cooler for longer.
  • When shaking, do so until the shaker feels cold to the touch to ensure proper dilution and chilling.

Perfect Pairings


  • Coconut Shrimp: The sweet and tropical flavors of the Category 5 cocktail complement the crispy, savory flavors of coconut shrimp.
  • Spicy Wings: The heat from spicy wings is cooled down by the sweet, refreshing layers of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Mahi-Mahi: A light and flaky fish like Mahi-Mahi pairs nicely with the fruity notes of the cocktail.
  • Jerk Chicken: The spice and flavor of jerk seasoning will be balanced by the sweet and tangy nature of the drink.


  • Mango Sorbet: The tropical flavors of the sorbet will enhance and mirror the fruity notes in the Category 5.
  • Key Lime Pie: The acidic and tart flavors of the pie provide a nice contrast to the sweetness in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Category 5

  • Light Rum: Any white rum can be used as a substitute.
  • Spiced Rum: Kraken or Sailor Jerry are excellent alternatives.
  • Dark Rum: If Myer's isn't available, try using Gosling's Black Seal.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Category 5

  • Swap out peach liqueur for raspberry or blackberry liqueur.
  • Add a splash of cranberry juice.
  • This twist adds a berry burst to the storm, enveloping the taste buds with a tart, sweet breeze that's both familiar and excitingly different.

Coconut Craze

  • Use coconut rum in place of light rum.
  • Add a splash of coconut cream.
  • This version sails you straight to the tropics, infusing the hurricane with creamy coconut waves, making it smoother and even more vacation-worthy.

Spicy Tempest

  • Include a dash of hot sauce or a slice of jalapeño in the shaker.
  • Use a chili-infused simple syrup instead of grenadine.
  • This concoction turns up the heat, adding an adrenaline surge to your sipping experience, for those who like to live on the spicy side of life.

In case you forgot basics how to make Category 5

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Category 5

Can I make a Category 5 cocktail non-alcoholic?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the rums with non-alcoholic rum-flavored syrups or simply omitting the alcohol and increasing the amounts of juices and grenadine.

What is the best type of ice to use for the Category 5 cocktail?

Crushed ice is typically used for tropical drinks like the Category 5 to create a chilled and refreshing texture, but you can also use cubes if preferred.

Is it possible to batch prepare the Category 5 cocktail for a party?

Yes, you can mix all the ingredients in larger quantities beforehand, except for the ice. When ready to serve, shake individual portions with ice and serve.

What food pairs well with the Category 5 cocktail?

Grilled seafood, tropical salads, or light appetizers such as coconut shrimp and fruit skewers complement the tropical flavors of this cocktail.

How do I properly garnish a Category 5 cocktail?

You can garnish it with an orange slice, a cherry, and optionally a cocktail umbrella to enhance its tropical presentation.

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