Mocktail MO's Little Rock Mocktail Guide

Curious about “Mindful Drinking” or what a Dry January or Sober October might mean for you?  If you’re interested in making modifications, if not all out prohibition in your drinking habits, January might be the time to take some time off.

Taking a month to put some distance between you and over indulgence is not a bad idea.  The good news is it doesn’t have to include you wearing a shroud and acting like a monk.  Being sober can actually include being social.  No need to worry about club soda as your only option when out and about.  Whether it’s “Dry January” or “Dry Any Day”, there are quite a few places in Little Rock to go out with friends and enjoy an actual cocktail without the consequence.   

                …Welcome to the land of Mocktails!

Some of the drinks I have had the pleasure of trying, and some I look forward to tasting soon.  Check back with the guide every so often because menus are always changing.

Places with Mocktails on the Menu:

Dustbowl:

  • Peter Webber – Cold brew Coffee and Lemonade
  • Clean Sheet – Pineapple Juice, Ginger beer, Caramelized Pineapple
  • Shliefer – An AF version of an Old Fashioned.
  • Mixed Doubles – Cold brew Coffee lime Honey syrup and Tropical nectar.

Atlas Bar: Winner of the Monarch of MOcktober crown for the Fruit Ninja –  A magical blend of fruit and tonic. 

Raduno :

  • Lavender Limonata – Limonata soda, Lavender Syrup, Lemon
  • For Your Health – Yerba mate syrup, Lemon juice, Ginger beer
  • Cherry Basil Tonic – Basil syrup, Grenadine, Tonic
  • Tiki Me Back to Summer – Grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, Simple syrup, Lemon lime soda, Soda water

Baja Grill:

  • Tastes like a Margarita 
  • Tastes like a Mojito
  • Tastes like a Moscow Mule
  • Tastes like a Spiked Cherry Limeade 

Mockingbird Bar and Taco: 

  • Cherry Lime Mockarita
  • Fauxjito

Trio’s:

  • Mango Mule – Cucumber, Mango, Honey syrup, Ginger beer,Rosemary
  • Blueberry Smash – Blueberries, Rosemary, Honey syrup, Lemon, Sparkling water
  • Strawberry Fields – Strawberry syrup, Hibiscus syrup, Soda, Lime

Heights Taco and Tamale:

  • Mercantile Soda No. 1 – Pinapple syrup, Cucumber water, Lemon juice, Soda water
  • Tesote – Black tea, Lemon juice, Simple syrup

The Heights Pizzeria

  • Phoebe’s Favorite – Ginger beer, Grapefruit juice, Muddled basil
  • Cranberry Limonata – Cranberry, Lemonade, Soda
  • Blood Orange Tea – Tea, Blood Orange juice, Simple syrup
  • Heineken Zero is also on the menu

The Fold:

  • Work Barbie – Lemon juice, Lavender syrup
  • The C.C. – Muddled cucumber, Mint, Lime juice, Soda water

Local Lime:

  • Two to Mango – Lime, Mango/Chile syrup, Sparkling water
  • Frida’s Fresca – Hibiscus/Rosehip syrup, Blueberries, Pineapple, Lime, Cream of coconut

Zeteo Coffee: The Orange Espresso is light, effervescent and completely uplifting.

**Teaberry Kombucha – Really in a category all it’s own.  Check them out for whatever new combo they are brewing.  Always a new discovery!

Places On Board with Making Mocktails:

They may not feature mocktails in print, but they are happy to make you one.

  • Kemuri –  Basil lime tonic and Tropical fruit Paradise  
  • South On Main – They are happy to make a “Virgin” anything you wish
  • Petit and Keet – The Dandelion and Dragon Fire are special off-menu mocktails not to be missed!
  • The Pantry – Their virgin Moscow Mule is pretty lip smacking!

What you can find at the Grocery Store

  • Kroger – Fre dealcoholized wine and Heineken Zero
  • Wal Mart – Heineken Zero
  • Trader Joes – Gerstel 0.5% beer
  • Fresh Market – H2Opps Water

The Results are In!

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.

Raduno
The Fold
Sauc(ed)

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.

…a what?

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.