Cheers to the crafters of creative concoctionsGreat wine is fine and expected in Napa, no question; but sometimes, nothing but a well-crafted cocktail will satisfy a craving. Shaken or stirred, flaming, on the rocks or with a twist, these spots — recommended by Archer Hotel Napa’s in-the-know concierge team — are the best spots for cocktails in downtown Napa.
Head to Eiko’s for satisfying Japanese-inspired cocktails, along with traditional Japanese cuisine with imaginative twists. Start sweet with Eiko’s Dragon Cosmo — with Skyy raspberry vodka, elderflower, cranberry and lime juices and a honeysuckle lavender sugar rim. Or order a liquid nitrogen cocktail experience tableside; the Mojito of the Future is something to look forward to.
Cole’s Chop House
For an impressive selection of approximately 170 whiskeys, head over to Cole’s Chop House in the Williams-Keyser building on Napa’s Main Street. One of the best places for cocktails in Napa Valley and a sophisticated steak house that has earned a spot in the 100 Best Steakhouses in America by OpenTable, this restaurant complements its cuisine with award-winning bourbon and whiskey selections. Hand-selected rackhouse flights are a convenient way to try several brands. Or ask its mixologists to craft a seasonal cocktail that aims to please — and delivers.
One of the valley’s prized Japanese fusion restaurants, Morimoto Napa consistently earns high marks for delivering an exceptional experience across the board — the cuisine, the space, the service and the drinks. Alongside beer and sake selections are the specialty cocktails, including a Morimotini with vodka and sake, a Wagyu Old Fashion with smoked wagyu-infused Suntory Whisky Toki, Rittenhouse rye and Frangelico, and a Casual Encounter with cucumber vodka, ginger liqueur and lemon. Enjoy your creative cocktail at the bar with delicate appetizers or with your exquisite meal.
If sipping artisan cocktails while enjoying locally grown, foraged and fished foods sounds like a good thing, stop in at Torc — one of the best places for cocktails in Napa Valley. On Main Street in Napa, this sophisticated yet relaxed eatery and bar pipes in rock ‘n’ roll, blues and soul — music that livens and energizes. Specialty cocktails include the Spaghetti Western — bourbon, amari and Torc bitters — and the Caricature — St. George Botanivore gin, Dolin rouge, Campari and grapefruit. The offered spirits are “happy” and the classic cocktails are spot on. Should you taste the Bengali Sweet Potato Pakora served with yogurt-truffle dip for happy hour? Yes, you should.
Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar at Archer Hotel Napa
Atop Archer Hotel Napa is downtown’s favorite rooftop bar, with panoramic views that pair well with the house-made cocktails crafted by the talented Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar mixologists. Relax in comfortable lounge seating among potted olive trees or next to a fire pit while savoring elevated American cuisine under the direction of executive chef Elizabeth Espiritu. Spice things up with blistered shishito peppers served with lime and sea salt, or try the local-favorite lobster corn dogs with spicy caper remoulade. Accompany your fare with the Paloma, Aperol Spritz, Lemon Drop, Margarita or Mule (all on tap). Or try Mario's Girl, with New Amsterdam peach vodka, Rumhaven coconut rum, Lo-Fi gentian amaro, charred pineapple syrup and coconut-peach foam.
Cool cocktails outside of downtown Napa
- Napa — Napa Sport offers a large center bar with TV screen after HDTV screen with separate receivers, an authentic white maple gymnasium floor, private booths with their own TVs and much-better-than-bar-food bar food (think elevated hot wings and five cuts of beef with four sauce options). Sit back, relax with a cocktail and root for your team (or enjoy the company you’re with) in an elevated sports atmosphere.
- Rutherford — A delectable part of Auberge du Soleil is the resort’s Bistro & Bar. An inventive, seasonal cocktail menu includes the summertime favorite L'Esprit du Soleil and Bud Break, plus the perennial favorite Sazerac. Enjoy your well-crafted cocktail of choice — along with sharable bites, artisan cheese, perhaps a selection from the raw bar or the grill — on the wraparound deck with fantastic Napa Valley views or inside, fireside.
- St. Helena — Cozy up to the bar at Goose & Gander for some old-school cocktails that’ll take you back. The Lost at Sea — with Appleton Estate Reserve rum, Cruzan Black Strap rum, Smith & Cross rum, Falernum liqueur, passion fruit, pineapple, lime and nutmeg — just may be your new favorite cocktail. This public house serves rustic American food and tempting bar bites meant to complement the retro-fresh libations in a relaxed but memorable atmosphere.
When it's time to visit the best places for cocktails in downtown Napa (and beyond), get ready to raise a glass: To new adventures — bottoms up, cocktail lovers!