From Chanticleer Society
Not sure if this truly is its own type of mixed drink, it is extremely rarely encountered. More research is required. 

The Hailstorm (or Hail-Storm), appears to be a drink that is comprised of spirit, sugar, and served in a tumbler which is filled with ice that is either actual hail, or ice that has been crushed to resemble it. Sometimes it would include mint, and as such would be almost indistinguishable from a mint julep.

There is very little evidence of the composition, much less existence of, the Hailstorm. The earliest known reference is from 1833, which would place it around the same time as the cobbler[1], which also relied heavily on being well iced. It appears that it was at one time popular enough to be specifically mentioned by customers. [2]

Another reference to it, is being currently served at the "Fort Restaurant" and that it "...has roots in the Old West. In the 1830s at Bent’s Fort (the La Junta trading post that the Fort’s architecture is based upon), hail was gathered by fur traders and trappers from atop the building and used to cool down beverages (ice was still a rare commodity in those days)." [3] [4] [5] [6] The implication here, is that a "hailstorm", would be a drink that opportunistically uses "hail" as it's ice. The drink served at the Fort is basically a mint julep.

It is doubtful that a drink that might be available at any establishment would be dependent upon the occurrence of an actual hailstorm, so while that might have been the inspiration or intention of the drink at Bent's Fort, it is likely that the name instead derives from the crushed ice in the drink having a resemblance to hail, instead of actually being it.

Another "in passing" reference to it comes from the 1844 "Bentley's Miscellany" (Volume 16), where an individual is perusing their drinking options:


[...] Well, now," said he, "I calculate, stranger, you'll get any drink in that 'ere printed list, fixed right away, from Sherry Cobbler to a Common Cocktail." I glanced my eye over the first half-dozen, "Sangaree - Hail Storm - Streak of Lightning - I.O.U. - No you don't - Sherry Cobbler - Moral 'Suasion-Cocktail, and Citronella Jam." [7]

We need to find additional references to help solidify this as an actual drink category.


  1. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails
    The Hailstorm, or Hail-Storm, is a popular American drink of the early nineteenth century whose general makeup - spirits, sugar, ice - is as clear and its precise details are elusive. The first printed recipe for it came only in 1913, a good eighty years after its first known appearance, in an 1833 newspaper. There it is presented as a potent Virginian eyeopener, but no further detail is given...
  2. "The Lost African-American Bartenders who Created the Cocktail" by David Wondrich The Daily Beast
    "Cato Alexander (1780-1858), on the other hand, enjoyed a very long career. Born into slavery in New York, he gained his freedom and, at some point in 1811 or before, opened a roadhouse three miles from New York, just about where Second Avenue crosses 54 Street today. You’ll find more about him in the article linked above, but the great Irish actor Tyrone Power (the original one, not the movie star) summed up his mixological accomplishments ably: “Cato is a great man, foremost amongst cullers of mint, whether for Julep or Hail-storm [an early name for iced Julep; apparently, and unaccountably, not everyone wanted theirs that way]; second to no man as a compounder of cock-tail, and such a hand at a gin-sling!” He was also known for his Ice Punch, and no doubt made a fine Eggnog, too."
  3. The Fort's Hailstorm Cocktail
  4. Historic Drinks: The 1840 Hailstorm Premiere Julep The Fort Restaurant
  5. The History of The Fort The Fort Restaurant
    "The Hailstorm was the first Colorado cocktail served in 1833 at Bent’s Fort. It is our signature drink today."
  6. Colorado Women: A History. by Beaton, Gail M. University Press of Colorado. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-60732-207-8.
    Fort visitors quaffed "hailstorms" at dinner and in the billards room while enjoying a post-dinner cigar. A mixture of whiskey, sugar, mint, and "something special," the drink sounds suspiciously like a mint julep.
  7. Bentley's Miscellany Volume 16 (1844)