Hard Water

San Francisco-Financial District

4.4 / 5

May 11, 2018

Owned by the team behind Slanted Door and Heaven's Dog, Hard Water is an American whiskey bar with a New Orleans theme.

Owned by the team behind Slanted Door and Heaven’s Dog, Hard Water is an American whiskey bar with a New Orleans theme. It’s a small but smart space, featuring a marble-topped oval bar, back-lit shelves full of gleaming bottles of whiskey and large windows making the room feel bright and airy. Both the food and drinks programmes take their cues from the Big Easy. The cocktail list is on the short side, featuring just six drinks, but these include southern classics like the Mint Julep and Cocktail a la Louisiane. Bourbon and rye are the base spirits of choice, and ice cubes are hand cut. There’s a vast selection of American whiskeys to choose from, around 130 in all, with the list including rarities and everyday pours. Some of the older and more obscure whiskies will set you back a pretty penny but there are drinks for every pocket here and whiskey flights are available in you want to try a range of varieties. The bar tenders know their stuff and are happy to provide a little guidance should the choice prove daunting. The venue also boasts a raw bar, featuring oysters, crab and wild gulf shrimp, as well as a short supper menu which includes American favourites, like seafood gumbo, cheese grits and braised rabbit buttermilk dumplings.