Napa Valley provides a cozy escape this holiday season, and one great way to enjoy it is to cuddle up around a fireplace or an outdoor firepit – whether for a secluded space for two or a jolly gathering for a group – and sip on spirited cocktails.
The talented mixologists and bartenders in Napa Valley have a little fun riffing on classic seasonal cocktails, flexing their creative muscles, and creating sensational drinkable displays of art that fit perfectly into the festive ambiance. The valley boasts a number of excellent places to enjoy a cocktail in a cheery environment, and we have captured a few in this holiday cocktail guide.
Sips with a View
The Bistro and Bar at Auberge du Soleil will be “Making Spirits Bright” this holiday season with specialty cocktails, spiked eggnog, hot toddies, and other festive sips throughout the month of December. Wind your way up the hill to this beautiful resort and be treated to dazzling outdoor lights and a welcoming lobby that exudes holiday spirit.
Up on the Rooftop
In downtown Napa, get “up on the rooftop” to lounge in a winter wonderland at Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar located atop the Archer Hotel – complete with igloos, lighted Christmas trees, and fire pits. Find a creative list of holiday cocktails here, such as Not Your Average Nog, Naughty But Nice, and Sleigh Ride From Glasgow to Mexico.
If You Like Pear
Pears are in season, and you’ll see this lovely fruit worked into tasty cocktails like A Blanton’s In A Pear Tree, a brooding mix of bourbon, pear liqueur, and Le Pere Jules Pommeau at Solbar at Solage.
Visit the speakeasy bar, a hip basement-level lounge at Goose & Gander, for Pear Pressure, a balanced concoction with rosemary-infused whiskey, pear brandy, St. Germain, vanilla syrup, and lemon. Or try the Rosemary-Pear Shrub for a zippy blend of herbs, fruit, spice, and ginger.
Other Seasonal Fruits
Another seasonal and unique fruit, quince, makes for a popular holiday ingredient and can be enjoyed at Forum at Meadowood in the Quince Collins, a vodka-based drink mixed with St. Germain, quince cordial, lemon, and seltzer for a refreshing and lightly sweet winter treat.
Cranberry is another featured seasonal ingredient, and the pops of red make it a jolly choice! The Charter Oak puts a holiday twist on a Cosmopolitan with the addition of thyme-infused vermouth.
If raspberry is your favorite red fruit, try it in the gin-based cocktail creation, Tinsletown, at ArBARetum. This ultra-cool cocktail bar has been a hot-spot since it opened in downtown Napa summer of 2022 and is known for its artisan cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink…almost!
Stay Toasty in a Yurt
Hot toddies do double time - warming your hands and lifting holiday spirits - and are the classic delight for chilly weather or a toasty nightcap. Enjoy one along with a prix fixe dinner in a Yurt at The Charter Oak, where they craft a version with spiced apple cider and salted maple foam – yum!
In Napa Valley, fresh, local, seasonal ingredients are highlighted not only in the cuisine, but also in the expertly-crafted libations, so be sure to enjoy a festive holiday cocktail while you are here. There are so many unique spots in each of the five towns across the valley to lounge and sip while taking in merry company and beautiful scenery.
‘Tis the season to raise a glass – cheers!