Before Ernest Hansen invented his ice-shaving machine in 1934 and cooled off a grateful city with sno-balls, and light years before flavors like the incandescent Blue Bubblegum, Tiger's Blood, and Rocket 88, New Orleanians indulged summer while eschewing the heat with another icy treat: granita.
Hailing from Sicily and originally made of snow collected on Mt. Etna, it has a crunchier texture and is flavored with seasonal fruit.
Our granita is a procession through the ephemeral harvest cycle of fine summer fruits grown here. Starting with that divine French melon Charantais in June, we move to an exquisite and evanescent white peach as well as yellow watermelon in July, reaching a few miles east for plums when they ripen in August.
We serve the granita tall, topped with homemade condensed “milk- fraîche”, and pour over it a cold fresh herb and lemongrass tea. Whether you go au natural or choose the two-piece by adding just the right rum from the island of Martinique and our sipping shelf, it's the only outfit you'll really need to brave the humid nights.
Says creative director and Spirt Handler Alan Walter, "Summer still possesses the magic that made sno-balls special to me as a kid. Memories of that daily ritual - in line at the snowball stand with my brother and sisters, a row of little faces rapt with anticipation, mischievous and carefree but for the day’s biggest decision and flavors that would change the color of our messy mouths for hours – well, those moments still hide in familiar forgotten flavors and smells that catch me by surprise.”
Give it a sno-ball's chance to work its magic, and this granita - with the fresh tastes and scents of season – might trigger a memory of "summers when." From Siciliy to Sal’s, Martinique to the Marigny and Havana to Hansen’s, cool off in LOA with an extravagant TASTE OF PLACE.
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