Slideshow: First Look: Whiskey Cocktails at Hard Water, San Francisco

Cocktail a la Louisiane
Cocktail a la Louisiane
This rich cocktail from Stanley Clisby Arthur's 1937 Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em is, according to Adkins, "a Vieux Carré on steroids." Adkins makes it with Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Carpano Antica, Peychaud's bitters, lots of Benedictine, and a touch of Duplais Absinthe for a slightly licorice-laced finish.
Dixie Cocktail
Dixie Cocktail
Adkins describes this as an Old Fashioned variation with dashes of Angostura and Creme de Menthe. It appeared in the 1917 edition of The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock of the St. Louis Country Club. At Hard Water, the aromatic drink is made with Wild Turkey 101, Small Hands gum syrup, Grand Marnier, Angostura, and Tempus Fugit Creme de Menthe, stirred and served over a hand cut ice cube.
Roffignac Cocktail
Roffignac Cocktail
Adkins recommends this drink to those looking for a refreshing highball. It was a signature cocktail in New Orleans in the 1890s, and calls for a little-known ingredient: red hembarig syrup, which is made with raspberry juice preserved with vinegar. The Hard Water team adds a little grapefruit to round out the flavor of this shaken rye cocktail topped up with soda.
Mint Julep
Mint Julep
"A julep is all about smelling the mint tips as you sip," says Adkins of this classic cure for Southern hot weather. At Hard Water, they make it with high proof Old Weller 107, and add the crushed ice last. "It dilutes so quick, you don't want to stir," says Adkins.