Say what you will about drinking, taking shots, and living a fast-paced party lifestyle. That doesn't need to be a part of "the finer things in life" by any means. There's something that is simply so magical about a craft cocktail or really, about someone who knows so much about spirits that their sophisticated ideas come to life in form of a beverage. I know a few craft cocktail bartenders personally and they're a different breed--I wish I was as knowledgeable and creative. When I'm behind the bar it's simply a Tito's and soda water...that's all I need.

Throughout the Treasure Valley, there are a ton of great bars that serve up craft cocktails--some tucked back in small spaces or in store fronts you may not suspect would be as great as they are.

Few, however, are completely hidden away from the naked eye.

A "speakeasy" was a place during the prohibition era where alcoholic beverages were sold illegally.  While liquor is no longer illegal in the United States of America--there's something special about the vibe of a speakeasy. Dim lighting, throwback vibes, a comfortable vibe.

Did you know Nampa is home to a speakeasy with an extensive craft cocktail menu that may be the most unique in the entire Treasure Valley?

Hidden behind a door labeled "Janitor's Closet" is Craft Lounge, an intimate, dimly lit bar in the basement of a former Masonic Temple.

As a kid growing up in Nampa, I always thought that temple looked creepy. Now, it's home to one of my favorite restaurants and only recently did I learn that it had this speakeasy in the basement.

As it is stated on their website:

Our mission is to cultivate a sense of belonging, through the exploration and education of early american cocktail culture.

It's fair to say that all of this is accomplished at Craft Lounge.

Both of the cocktails I tried at my visit to Craft Lounge were amazing and ironically, just a few weeks ago I met a craft cocktail bartender at the Boise Airport who told me out of all of his travels, the drinks at Craft Lounge.

It wouldn't be prudent of me to just tell you where Craft Lounge is. It's a speakeasy and that goes against the rules, right?

Just find the janitors closet at the old Masonic Temple in Nampa...and cheers!

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