The problem with seasonal cocktails menus in Arkansas around this time of year is that at any point it could be any of the four seasons. Today, for instance, we have even managed to experience all four in one day.
The fine folks at Petit & Keet get it, they really do. They do not try to make a spring or winter cocktail menu when it is a little of both in any given week. It is part of the reason why they are the greatest cocktail bar on the western side of the Little Rock continental divide (I-430). You could drink through their cocktail menu based on what season it is at any given time of day. To help with that we made a guide.
8:00 am – Summer at 75°
Nothing like a warm summer morning in Arkansas. Summer makes me think of late-season fruits and vacations. The new Bassett Hound is the perfect drink to capture this feeling. It starts with mezcal and adds spiced pear syrup and lemon. It is the perfect refreshing cocktail on a warm day, with a good strong flavor from the spiced pear. It almost makes you forget it is early February and there is no reason it should be this hot.
Alternative pick: Cherry Limeade Mule
9:30 am – Spring at 65° and Severe Thunderstorms
Don’t sip too slow, because we suddenly time jumped back to spring. You can hear the thunder rumbling in the distance, a monsoon on the horizon. The Old School Basil Lemondrop Martini fits the bill here. They take a vodka martini, muddle basil and add lemon and simple syrup. Light, sweet, refreshing, and a perfect taste of spring, even if it is still technically several months away.
Alternative pick: Rox Your Sox
12:00 pm – Fall at 45° and Dropping
In the course of just a few hours, my trees have already sprouted leaves and are now falling off again. Time to reach for The Frontiersman which is a perfect cool weather sipper. It starts with Elijah Craig, honey, Zirbenz pine liqueur, lemon, and most importantly allspice dram. It is woodsy and spicy. Taste like something you would drink around a campfire with a bunch of folks that could be either lumberjacks or hipsters, you are not really sure. Just like you are not sure what is going on with the weather.
Alternative: Pecan Pie Old Fashioned
4:00 pm – Winter at 32°
Just in time for Petit and Keet to open we hit the freezing mark, down over 40 degrees from this morning. Time to scoot a little closer to the fire and order a Back Burner to warm you up. It starts with Bourbon (logically), adds Ancho Reyes Poblano chile liqueur for extra warmth, China China and smoked bitters, and lemon simple syrup. It is warm, tasty, smokey, and warm because it is important to mention that twice.
Alternative pick: Charles Murphy
The new cocktail menu is available now. Feel free to work through it all today, or come back in a week when it is spring again.