Craft Cocktails in Historic Downtown Sanford

Shaken and Stirred: Sanford’s Craft Cocktail Corner

Whether you’re pining for a dry Martini or an over-the-top tiki drink, Historic Downtown Sanford is the place for you. Experienced bartenders are ready to create your drink fantasy with fresh and adventurous ingredients. We know you’ll love a French 75 in a historic building or a Moscow Mule on a beached pontoon boat. Happy hours and great date nights await!

Classics and New Twists
Because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere

Bitters & Brass is owned and operated by bartenders featuring an extensive cocktail menu which includes seasonals, classics, tiki drinks, and a fine selection of absinthe and amaro. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and enjoy sharing the history behind each drink. Monthly cocktail classes are also a fabulous way to dive even deeper into the history and craft of cocktails, giving you the confidence to create a delicious drink at home.

Another great place to pop in for a cocktail—and a meal to boot—is The District. The large windows, rustic-industrial feel, and the artisanal drinks pay homage to Sanford’s former reign as the “Celery Capital of the World.” The District’s purees and syrups add Floridian flavors to the Sanford Smash and the Fort Mellon Margarita.

Set in the middle of an exotic furniture store, you’ll immediately feel you’ve been transported to a magical outpost at The Imperial at Washburn Imports. Pair your drink with a charcuterie board before having dinner at one of Downtown Sanford’s restaurants. Challenge your whiskey palate and get your name on the bar by joining the Whiskey Club and trying 50 different whiskies. Get upgraded to gold status after trying 100 (don’t rush it—this is a feat to tackle over an extended amount of time; savor your odyssey).

You’ll notice The Smiling Bison has a cheeky grin and we think it’s because he knows a fine cocktail is waiting for you at the farm-to-table restaurant and bar. Sip on fresh ingredients beneath historic chandeliers during happy hour and stay for dinner, or go for weekend brunch and enjoy mimosas and bloody marys. The house cocktail menu rotates frequently, assuaging those thirsting for variety.

The quirkiness of Tuffy’s Bottle Shop and Lounge isn’t limited to the ambiance. You’ll find they like to do things a little differently by putting a spin on the classics. Frozen cocktails? Check. A Negroni Sundae? Check. Have a Golden Cadillac on the large, outdoor patio or an Aperol Spritz for Sunday brunch.

Drink in the clink at The Old Jailhouse. Paying homage to the historic location (the building served as the Seminole County Jail in the early 20th century), drinks such as The Yard and Hard Thyme are a delight and improvement over the usual bread and butter served behind bars.

Additionally, each of these venues also serve craft beer and wine, making them ideal to take a group of friends with different tastes. And if you’re new to the craft cocktail scene, don’t hesitate to chat with your bartender who will assist you in your journey. Communication is key. Sanford’s bartenders are welcoming and want you to have the best drinks possible.

If you were voted the designated driver or want to avoid a hangover, ask for a mocktail or low-ABV cocktail! Booze-free drinks are catching on and you’ll find that Sanford’s bars and restaurants are happy to accommodate.

Sanford is the ultimate spot to celebrate the art of the craft cocktail—everything from warm Old Fashioneds in the winter to sublime, classic Daiquiris in the summer. Explore your favorites and experiment with new combinations; there will be a brilliant bartender to guide you through your experience. Cheers to Historic Downtown Sanford!

Christina Grace Beverly

Christina is a graphic designer and writer, and has been a Downtown Sanford resident since 2006. Married to a Sanford native, they both enjoy promoting Sanford through their latest creative adventure, Drink Sanford, sharing all things beverage related in the city and their travels near and far. Find them at or on Instagram @DrinkSanford.