LITTLE ROCK – Recognizing the growing need in the community, a group of local bartenders a new initiative to ensure that all children in the state have access to proper alcoholic beverages.
The inspiration for the cause came from founder and South on Main bartender David Burnette’s own experience growing up in the state. He observed that most underage drinking came in the form of cheap mass-produced beers and low-grade spirits diluted with water to prevent parents from noticing.
“The last couple weeks have been full of inspiration for me. First I got to experience Tales of the Cocktail with my good friend and mentor Lee Edwards, “Burnette tells us.” Then I also got to watch another mentor if mine, Chef Matt Bell, descend upon Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to campaign to end childhood hunger with a vigor that I believe is inspirational to us all.”
“I realized there was something we could do about this growing problem,”Burnette continues. “Therefore, I would like to announce the official beginning of my new life mission: “No Kid Thirsty”! I truly feel that the average Arkansan would be shocked to know that many, many children here in our own state have never tasted so much as a reasonably hoppy beer, much less a perfectly stirred Manhattan.”
The No Kid Thirsty campaign will raise money to teach the state’s youth the basics of good alcohol consumption. Areas of initial focus are IPA appreciation, cocktail spirit selection, when to shake or stir, and wine pairings. “We obviously can’t serve the kids alcohol. But if they are going to illegally obtain it anyway, we at least want to make sure they know the basics like keeping their vermouth refrigerated,” Burnette adds.
The campaign also hopes to teach children about proper glassware selection led by master bartender Lee Edwards.
“I was at a friend’s house the other night and their 4-year-old had poured some Merlot into his Woody from Toy Story sippy cup. I immediately rushed over and took the cup from the kid, threw it against the wall, and scolded the parents,” Edwards tells us. “They cannot let their children drink Merlot from a sippy cup. It loses all the aromatics when you drink it that way. What sort of children are we raising in this state?”
Donations to the cause can be made at any high quality bar across the Little Rock area by simply tipping the bartender double, while donations to No Kid Hungry are accepted here