Spring cocktails tend to go the way of light and fruity, and there are certainly some of those here. However their spirit forward cocktails still take center stage and are perfect for sipping on a cool spring night around the fire pit with the patio doors open.
The one that really stands out in this regard is Nashville Was an Inside Job. This plays homage to the time bar manager Ben Franks, along with many others in the Little Rock bar scene, spent in Nashville. Nashville has had a huge influence on the local cocktail scene in Little Rock.
Nashville Was an Inside Job brings a Nashville area bourbon, Belle Meade, front and center into the cocktail that also includes Carpano Antica, Lucano amaro, and China-China liqueur. While still spirit forward it is a very drinkable cocktail. Each drink also includes a photo of Johnny Cash clipped to the side, perfect for sitting around the ring of fire on their patio.
“This cocktail is really about bridging the cocktail community between Little Rock and Nashville,” Franks says. “Cash was the musical equivalent of that. Born in Arkansas and spent most of his time in Nashville and impacted both music scenes.”
Another that really jumps out is the Mole! Mole! Mole!. This starts with a mezcal base and adds house made chocolate bitters for a light smoky cocktail. Then they top it with a roasted lemon dipped in chocolate bark syrup. Seriously do not just discard the lemon, it is delicious to just chew on along with the cocktail.
Of course this is spring, and you have to have light and fruity. The Thin Swizzy his this perfectly. It is a very tiki style cocktail that starts with rum and adds orgeat syrup, and pineapple, then ends with Fernet Menta for a refreshing finish to the cocktail. It is exactly what you need on a warm spring day.
Speaking of refreshing, the G.D.P hits the spot for when things really heat up. I would not be surprised to see this cocktail slip on the summer menu for that very reason. It starts with a light rum, pineapple, and vanilla, then adds a splash of Chardonnay. It is anything but a heavy cocktail, and perfect for wine drinkers to cross over to the dark side.
Also on the menu is a Cherry Limeade Mule, which is sort of an adult version of your Sonic favorite that uses a vodka base. The El Anticuado is another great example of a spirit forward cocktail that remains very light for spring. Finally the Flying Texan is very similar to a classic Aviation cocktail, named after the Texan Joseph Brodbeck who claimed, incorrect, to have invented aviation before the Wright Brothers.
The cocktail menu is out now along with updated wine and beer lists. Also be sure to check out their whiskey Monday specials each week which have become a favorite stop off point of mine.