Dark n’ stormy? Locals hunker down with hurricane parties, themed cocktails to weather Idalia

When the generator is powered, water is stored and the safety essentials are taken care of, it’s time to mix the cocktails.

At least, that’s how some Hilton Head islanders choose to ride out hurricanes and tropical storms that push across the coast.

“It’s not started yet, but I think tomorrow (Wednesday) will be a different story,” said Reiley Bozeman, manager of Reilley’s Grill & Bar on Hilton Head. “A lot of places tend to close. We tend not to close because, depending on how bad it is, a lot of the real locals will party through it.”

Hurricane parties have a long history across every U.S. coastal state, and Reilley’s has become synonymous with riding out the rain with drinks in hand. Thanks to overhead covers the restaurant deploys, Bozeman said even the outdoor bar is busy during heavy rain provided it’s not too windy.

“Reilley’s is usually the place for it,” said Milton Beville, owner of Park Plaza Spirits & Fine Wines.

Reilley’s isn’t the only local spot planning to celebrate the storm’s passing. The Bluffton and Hilton Head locations of Tio’s Latin American Kitchen will be open Wednesday and Thursday, with 15% of all sales from 4:30 p.m. to close donated to Bluffton Bulldogs youth sports.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Shelter Cove location will offer BOGO appetizers, and children can eat free with purchase of an adult meal. House margaritas will be $4 both days. The restaurant’s Bluffton location offers the same $4 margaritas both days, but the free appetizers and kids eat free deal will only run on Thursday.

Depending on the storm’s approach, locals have more time to throw their own parties at home.

Jimmy Schmidt, an employee at Rollers Wine and Spirits, said their store hasn’t seen a particular uptick in customers with Idalia just over a day away from reaching the Lowcountry.

That tends to change when storms approach from the Atlantic. Schmidt said when the island is squarely in a storm’s path for a longer time, more customers will flood in to prepare for their own hurricane parties.

Beville agreed, noting a similar spike in business if an Atlantic storm is predicted to reach Hilton Head.

If you’re looking to put on your own hurricane party as Idaline passes, there are several cocktail recipes perfectly themed for the occasion:

Dark ’n Stormy


  • 2 ounces rum

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • Ginger beer, to top (about 5 ounces)

  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Add rum and lime juice to a tall glass filled with ice

  2. Top with the ginger beer

  3. Garnish with a lime wheel




  • 2 ounces light rum

  • 2 ounces dark rum

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce passion fruit puree

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon grenadine

  • Garnish: orange half-wheel

  • Garnish: preserved cherry


  1. Add the light and dark rums, lime and orange juices, passion fruit puree, simple syrup and grenadine into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a large Hurricane glass over fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry.


Sea Breeze


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3 ounces cranberry juice

  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Add the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice into a highball glass with ice and stir

  2. Garnish with a lime wheel


Beach Water Cocktail


  • 1 1/2 oz Blue Raspberry Vodka

  • 1 1/2 oz Coconut Rum

  • 6 oz 7UP


  1. Stir all ingredients in a glass

  2. Add ice


Bright and Rainy


  • 1.5 oz gin

  • 0.5 oz peach schnapps

  • 0.25 oz lime juice

  • 3 oz ginger beer/ginger ale


  1. Stir all ingredients over ice in a rocks glass