I like bars that can be different things. A bar that is always rowdy and crowded isn’t fun, while a bar is only quaint and quiet can be a bore. A good bar should be a living thing, changing and evolving throughout the day, ebbing and flowing, shifting and moving. I want a bar that is good for a quiet drink at noon and a roomful of crazed drag queens at midnight. Henri’s Just One More is all of those things, and they have the added benefit of mixing some of the best martinis I’ve ever tasted. Located down a steep alleyway in Eureka Springs, it might be easy to overlook Henri’s, but by it’s well worth keeping an eye out for. Jess and I stopped in for a couple of drinks during our recent visit to Eureka Springs, and we were much pleased with the friendliness of service and quality of drinks we were served. There’s nothing quite like a well-mixed martini, and Henri’s list of martini drinks is both creative and extensive.
We first came across mention of Henri’s in a post on the Arkansas Times’ Eat Arkansas blog. Blogger Kat Robinson described the bar as a “neat little place,” and that’s as good a description as I can think of – this is a place that can truthfully be described as a hole in the wall, located halfway down some steep steps that connect Spring St. with Main St. Jess wanted to try one of their specialty martinis and went with the Speedy Martini, a sugary blend of orange flavored vodka and Red Bull, garnished with a slice of orange and a cherry. I took a sip of it and while I thought it was far too sweet, Jess liked it a lot. I’ve never been a fan of liquor and Red Bull mixed, but for those of you who might be into that sort of thing, this is a much tastier way to do it than some I’ve come across. We took our drinks into a sunny side room, away from the music playing and I found myself thinking of Hemingway as we soaked in the sunshine in our own clean, well-lighted place.
I’m more of a purist when it comes to martinis – to me, the only thing that should be called by that name consists of some good gin, a splash of dry vermouth, and a couple of olives. Don’t be let down by all the “apple-tinis” and “choco-tinis” on the menu – Henri’s knows what a classic martini is supposed to taste like. I ordered my dirty martini with Bombay Sapphire gin and was pleased to watch the bartender fill my martini glass with cracked ice to chill, gently shake my drink, then pour into the chilled glass with exactly two olives. The flavor was perfect, not so cold that it muted the aromatics in the gin, but not warm and sour either. Bombay Sapphire is a smooth, imminently drinkable gin, but the mixing of flavors that comes with a good martini is completely due to the care that goes into making one. I’ve never had a martini in a bar that I thought was a good as the ones I make for myself, and I still haven’t: Henri’s was better.
Henri’s Just One More is located at 19 1/2 Spring St. in Eureka Springs. They’re open from noon until 2am Wednesday-Monday and closed Tuesdays. They have a full menu, so it’s a great place to stop in for the classic three martini lunch, and although we weren’t there late, everyone said that the bar is a lot of fun late night. Enjoy!