Shake Things Up. Explore Downtown Napa’s Craft Cocktail Scene.

When you think of Napa Valley in California, what comes to mind? Chances are, you immediately picture rolling vineyards, lush wineries and world-renowned wine tastings. But Downtown Napa has so much more to offer than just wine. In recent years, the area’s craft cocktail scene has emerged as a vibrant and exciting alternative to the traditional wine experience.  

As a result, Downtown Napa’s craft cocktail culture is gaining recognition and drawing crowds of craft cocktail enthusiasts worldwide, from innovative mixology to hidden speakeasies. So, whether you’re a craft cocktail fan or just looking for a change of pace from wine tasting, read on to discover the unique and engaging world of Downtown Napa’s craft cocktail culture. 

Craft Cocktail Hotspots in Downtown Napa You Can’t Miss 

Whiskey Bar at Sky & Vine 

The Whiskey Bar at Sky & Vine is tucked neatly on the corner of Archer Hotel’s rooftop and offers a variety of whiskey-based cocktails along with stunning views of Napa Valley. Whisky Bar boasts an impressive selection of over 100 whiskeys, including rare and hard-to-find bottles.  

The Whiskey Bar at Sky & Vine cocktail menu also features drinks with creative twists on classic whiskey beverages, like the “Blazen Manhattan,” and unique creations, such as the “Calle Uno,” made with Charbray private barrel whiskey, Bly ancho, cappelletti and Aztec chocolate bitters. Yum! One of their star drinks is the “La Louisiane,” made with WhistlePig Private Barrel Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Bénédictine, absinthe and Peychaud’s Bitters. Plus, the rooftop setting of the Whiskey Bar at Sky & Vine makes it an ideal spot to enjoy a drink while watching one of Napa Valley’s mesmerizing sunsets. 

Napa Yard 

Napa Yard offers a wide selection of craft cocktails using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, many of which are grown in the onsite gardens. The bar’s focus on sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices is so real that it extends to its drink menu, where you’ll find beverages made with house-made syrups and fresh fruit purees. Napa Yard’s beverage menu is divided into categories like “Seasonal Cocktails” and “House Cocktails,” with unique offerings like the “Turin Hush” made with Bourbon, Dry Vermouth, Gran Classico, Cherry Herring, and vanilla cherry bark bitters, cinnamon — and served on a big rock. The outdoor patio seating and lively atmosphere make Napa Yard the perfect place for a night out with friends. 


Photo: @wilfredslounge

Wilfred’s Lounge 

If you prefer a cozy, intimate spot with a tiki lounge vibe, you’ll love Wilfred’s Lounge. The dimly lit space is decorated with vintage artwork and offers a variety of classic and modern cocktails. Wilfred’s Lounge cocktail menu gives you a buzzing selection of island-inspired craft cocktails, like the “Maximum Aloha,” made with strawberry-infused Philippine rum, lemon juice, cinnamon, prickly pear, hibiscus, Overproof Jamaican Rum and coconut banana whip. Yes, please! Or their famous “Manta Ray,” made with gin, pineapple-infused Jamaican rum, house white rum blend, Pineau des Charentes, Falernum, Sauvignon Blanc syrup, pea flower tea, pineapple, lemon — and fire! Wilfred’s Lounge is a fantastic place for a romantic or quiet evening with friends. 

The ArBaretum 

Located in the heart of town, The ArBaretum is at the cutting edge of Napa Valley’s craft cocktail scene. Here, you’ll experience the highest level of cocktail service and premium spirits in one of the most distinctive settings in Downtown Napa. The brainchild of the local husband-and-wife team behind the Napa Valley Distillery, ArBaretum features small-batch-distilled spirits made from local wine grapes in their carefully crafted cocktails. The ArBaretum is also available to reserve for private events of up to 60 people, making it the perfect venue for your next big celebration with family and friends. 

Napa Valley Distillery

With the same enthusiasm for using locally sourced ingredients and creating small-bath-distilled spirits as they’ve done with the ArBaretum, Arthur and Lusine Hartunian have built the Napa Valley Distillery. You can opt for an Educational Distillery Tour, then taste a flight of their great spirits. They also have “Booze Yoga” in their Grand Tasting Salon.

Photo: @californiabrandyhouse

California Brandy House 

Are you more of a brandy person? Well, we have good news: California Brandy House is the first stand-alone tasting room dedicated solely to premium California brandies. Here you’ll find rich and inventive brandies made from California’s world-class wine grapes that deliver layers of flavor. While they do accept walk-ins, we recommend booking a tasting reservation to secure your spot if you decide to visit. If you’re looking to memoralize a special occasion or take home the perfect gift, the Brandy House can also custom engrave a bottle of your choice right onsite.  

Photo: @napapalisadessaloon

On top of these remarkable places, Downtown Napa has many other cool bars and restaurants offering tasty and creative drinks to celebrate National Cocktail Day, or any other day, just how you want. Once you’re here, also check out the Haven cocktail lounge at CIA at Copia, The Fink, The Q Restaurant & Bar, Napa Palisades Saloon, C Casa, Bounty Hunter Bar & Smokin’ BBQ, and so many others. With Downtown Napa’s proximity to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, we’re sure any of the area’s master bartenders can craft a genuinely excellent cocktail for you to delight your senses. Plus, there are many times of the year that offer seasonal cocktails, from St. Patrick’s Day inspired drinks to holiday classics. 

Sip, Savor, Repeat — Quench Your Thirst for Every Type of Adventure  

Downtown Napa’s bar and nightlife scene has something for everyone: Delicious drinks, incredible food and an atmosphere ranging from chill to energetic. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a group of friends or your loved one, book your stay today and head to one of these top spots for craft cocktails to raise a glass to all the amazing moments you’ll be living in Downtown Napa anytime soon. Cheers!