There is a satisfaction in sipping carefully-crafted cocktails prepared by an expert mixologist. The cocktail bars of Arkansas not only have delicious and creatively-concocted drinks, but atmospheres of Prohibition-area speakeasies and intimate modern lounges. Whether you’re in the mood for Tom Collins or a traditional Old Fashioned, the cool cocktail bars of Arkansas can make it for you. Here are our favorites.
Settle into a leather chair, the drink in your hand refracting the atmospheric candlelight, the sounds of ice in shakers and stirring rods in Collins glasses dancing off the ceiling. You’re enjoying a craft cocktail at 109 & Co. in Little Rock, and all is well in the world.
Part tiki bar, part cocktail lounge, Fayetteville’s Cannibal & Craft is a perfect place to slip out of everyday life and into a delicious drink on Dickson Street. Their juices are fres-squeezed and their syrups are all house made. Live music and stained glass elevate the drinking experience.
Those who wish to worship at an altar backed by fine bartenders can have their spirits filled at Undercroft, a secretive bar tucked beneath an historic church. A archway with the word “bar” marks one entrance, a door to the “coatroom” denotes the other. Rejoice!
Ciao Baci has one of Little Rock’s deepest wine lists. But you don’t want wine. Not today. You need a cocktail. Well, fair drinker, fortune smiles upon you. Ciao Baci also happens to serve up finely-crafted libations, many of which are inspired—like their cuisine—by the Mediterranean, such as the blood orange cosmo.
Theo’s serves up coastally-inspired cuisine as well as a considerable menu of signature craft cocktails, along with their updates on classic libations. The only way Theo’s could build such and impressive array of beverages is to have a deep selection of spirits on hand. And they do.
Tucked into the South Walton Suites in Bentonville, Executive Escape is modeled after a game parlor or club room. Deep leather chairs, rich red walls, and intimate lighting enhance the atmosphere. Expertly prepared cocktails from behind the bar provide the escape.
The clubby Capital Bar & Grill is the lounge at Little Rock’s historic Capital Hotel. It’s the place to see and be seen drinking in the Capital City. The bar program offers classic comfort foods and craft cocktails, as well as live music several nights each week, most often from the Ted Ludwig Trio.
Looking for a laidback lounge to throw back a cocktail? The Amendment in Fayetteville is a fine spot for it. In addition to a huge selection of spirits and supremely talented bartenders who can craft cocktails off the cuff, the Amendment has a rooftop on which to savor your beverage.
Once hidden behind a cigar store—in order to fend off Feds during Prohibition—the Ohio Club has been serving cocktails to the gentry of Hot Springs for more than a century. The Ohio Club was an infamous gangster hangout where Al Jolson and Mae West have both performed. They still have live music seven days a week and serve excellent cocktails right out in the open now.
Fresco Restaurant + Cocktails is another fine option for delicious drinks and fare in Fayetteville. The restaurant’s proficient bartenders offer up refreshing concoctions that provide the perfect counterpoint to Fresco’s pasta and other tasty Italian dishes.