What do you like to drink after a shift? “Usually bourbon on the rocks, either at my house or a bar along the way.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “That’s tough one, “Sex Machine” by James Brown or “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations.”
What drink should be banished and why? “Flirtini. Just order a Champagne cocktail, any Champagne cocktail, and be done with it.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “An Old-Fashioned at Pravda in New York.”
What book on cocktails, spirits or food is your go-to resource? “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh.”
Ever appropriate to shake a Martini? “Nah, not a real one. But I will shake a Dirty Martini and a very dry Vodka Martini served up.”
What’s your favorite whiskey and food pairing? “French 75 and oysters.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The Vargas Girl.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “An IPA and an amaro.”
Chris Hannah is head bartender of Arnaud’s French 75 Bar in New Orleans, which this past spring won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program.
Interview has been condensed and edited.