Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pin It

Chris Hannah’s Mardi Gras Punches

For the last few years, New Orleans bartender Chris Hannah has pushed a grocery cart around the French Quarter. Has he lost his home? His faculties? Not at all. He doesn't push it year-round, but during Carnival, when such sights are commonplace. Like so many others in Quarter and along St. Charles Avenue, Hannah uses the cart to haul around a cooler sloshing with beverages on Mardi Gras day. Each year the contents change, but the last three times he’s made what’s growing into an institution, his bright orange cooler held tiki punches made with rum.

There’s been the Nui Nui, an orange and lime concoction with allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla — and rum. In 2010, Hannah made gallons of Chief Lapu Lapu, a sweet/tart punch made with passionfruit, orange, lemon, simple syrup — and rum. This past year, he handed out cups of good cheer in the form of Pago Pago punch with orange, lime, grapefruit, honey — and rum.

Can we get this guy a sponsor? Zaya, you rock out in a Nui Nui. Appleton Estate, why not contribute some bottles and throw a little cash his way to gussy up the cart? Next year, I want to see a grocery cart-sized float and the Chris Hannah Mahalo Gold Dancers.

From Jeff Berry’s Tiki+ app, here’s a more modest-sized version of the1960's era punch from Tucson's Pago Pago restaurant. Scale up if you require more.
Pago Pago Punch

1 oz orange juice
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz grapefruit juice
¾ oz honey mix*
1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake well with plenty of crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a pilsner glass.
*Honey mix is a 1:1 mix of honey and water, more readily mixable than straight honey.

Goes well with:
  • Taking a Tiki Shortcut with Simbre Sauce, our own take on the Nui Nui which we have been known to drink in such quantities that we require a pre-batched spiced syrup dubbed (around here anyway) Simbre Sauce.
  • Mardi Gras with Rowley, Wayne, and Chris, a short post on bumping into Hannah and writer Wayne Curtis on Mardi Gras last year. The photo above is from that day (with Curtis in the exterminator getup).


Tiare said...

I missed this post somehow but too late is better than never..

I had no idea Chris was doing this, it´s handsdown friggin`awesome! he should def be sponsored!

I`m so bummed i never have neither money or holiday days at MG time! seems like i need to move down at some point whenever that would be possible.

The Pago Pago is one of my favorite drinks, i just love it! Nui Nui too...and now i`m thirsty but unf i`m at work so i´ll have to wait.

Matthew Rowley said...

I completely agree. Chris makes fantastic punches and it simply criminal that you weren't there to enjoy them in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras. At least I know you must have all of the ingredients to make these tiki punches at home. Not quite the same, but certainly better than nothing.