Fasten your seatbelts kids, we’ve got to talk.
Initially my mission as Mocktail MO was to discover the best mocktails in Little Rock and beyond. The objective was to make lemonade out of the lemons life had given. I figured if I can’t drink cocktails with alcohol I should be able to have the same experience without it. Easy enough, no? Well after a few months of searching I believe I can call it “Mission Accomplished”. I think I have had the best Little Rock has to offer. Along the way I have had many mocktails, some good – some bad, and written about my experiences with the best I have found so far. Does this mean the end of Mocktail MO – heavens no! My goals have only expanded from finding the best mocktails –check, to A Mocktail for Every Menu. We’ll talk about that later.
In my effort to find a really good alcohol-free cocktail my taste buds and I have had drinks for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. I am now ready to announce my top three picks for Best Mocktails in Little Rock, but they are all number one in my book. Raduno is at the top for actually having a Mocktail menu and serving consistent flavored drinks. The Fold will always be special for starting me on this journey in such a divinely delicious way. I was served a tremendous variety of drinks to choose from, and each one was as tasty as the other. And to round out this triad is Sauced for fearlessly diving into making a signature “MOtini” I will never forget. There are a couple Honorable Mentions too: I have to give Atlas Bar props for mocktail space on their menu; and Dos Rocas for the absolute best mockarita on the planet. It may look like I only traveled down South Main Street on this quest, but that just isn’t the case. I have ordered mocktails all around town with varied outcomes. It is interesting though that the culture of the SoMa district seems pretty open to the idea of alcohol-free mixed drinks.
I still get that look a confused dog gives you when you say something they don’t quite understand when I order a mocktail at restaurants. You know; how they cock their head to the side and sort of curl their upper lip? That one. I won’t talk about the dud experiences I’ve had. This mocktail thing is a new concept for many, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before it catches on. For my new mission I have contacted a few restaurants and made suggestions for signature mocktails that represent the personality of their particular establishment. So far people have been open to conversation, but I haven’t noticed much actual movement in that direction – yet. I’m nothing if not optimistic about the future. I think their hesitation lies in the fear of losing money on less expensive drinks, but if they changed their perspective just a notch they might see the revenue loss of people only having the option of ordering soft drinks instead of drinks with alcohol. I generally pay around $5.00 for a mocktail – considerably more than a soda, and much more than a water; which are the current options. If I may, I’ll refer back to my Why Mocktails? Let Me Break it Down For Ya post for more a detailed analysis.
On this mission I have made other discoveries worthy of noting. I have made connections with people that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this. Thanks to Instagram, I’ve discovered that Europe is way down the road on this alcohol-free drinks for grown-ups thing. I’ve seen multi-shelf displays in super markets of different types of mocktails from different companies. There is a gentleman in England that regularly posts about the different alcohol free beer he gets in pubs around town. The U.S. isn’t far behind either. There are pop-up bars that have entire mocktail nights from Austin to New York, and are sold out. And for the first time ever, mocktails will be officially served at the Kentucky Derby this year. You see Arkansas, mocktails really are a thing, and I am totally on board to be the leader of the pack.
If you are an establishment interested in talking about mocktails, let me know – I’m huge on collaboration. If you are a person looking for an alcohol alternative cocktail – be bold and order one! Change isn’t always easy…but it might just be fun.