Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bottled water

After watching the ABC TV special tonight Bottled Water: Who Needs It?, I felt the need to find out more about these suppposed 33 different types of bottled water stocked by Claridge's in London, complete with a water sommelier and a water menu.

Yes, it all is terribly wasteful and self-centred, not to mention the screw-you attitude towards the environment and various levels of carbon footprints, but I'd still like to sit down with all of these waters and sip away, trying to ascertain the flavours that we're assured are there and trying to pick my favourite.

Claridge's to offer water from around world

Bo Wilson, Evening Standard


One has a sweet taste and is the perfect accompaniment to sushi, another is "distinctively soft" and goes with salads.
Another variety is said to be a favourite of the Pope himself.
These drinks don't come from a wine list - they are part of a collection of the world's finest bottled mineral water with the most expensive costing the equivalent of £50 a litre.
Claridge's is launching a water list next month, with 30 brands from as far afield as the icebergs of Newfoundland, the volcanoes of New Zealand and the Nilgiris Mountains in India.
Experts can differentiate between their mineral content and pH balance.
Llanllyr, a Welsh artesian water, has a soft taste from sources under organic fields, while Wattwiller, spring water from France, has a "pleasant hint of sweetness to the palate".
Renaud Grégoire, Claridge's food and beverage director, said: "Water is becoming like wine. Every guest has an opinion and asks for a particular brand."
The waters have price tags almost on a par with a wine list. One variety, 420 Volcanic, sourced through 200m of volcanic rock, costs £21 for 42cl, which works out at £50 a litre.
Berg, iceberg water from Canada, costs an equivalent of £30 a litre, while Mahalo Deep Sea Water, from Hawaii, costs £20 for 71cl, or £28 a litre.
The list may be welcome to the hotel's guests but it may anger environmentalists worried by the air miles needed to fly the water to Britain. A spokesman for Thames Water said: "Our water is of the highest standard and it costs less than a 10th of a penny per litre."
Claridge's has an answer, however. On the end of its list it offers a glass or jug of "London water," free of charge.

A sample of Claridge's Water Menu


Belu - spring water from Shropshire, England, £5.50 (75cl)
Filtered through layers of ancient rock in the remote hills, it has a crisp and pleasant taste and is totally eco-friendly

Elsenham – artesian water from Hampshire, England, £12 (75cl)Elsenham artesian spring water is decades old and bottled at source from a deep underground chalk confined aquifer. Due to its depth the water is absolutely pure.

Hildon - spring water from Hampshire, England, £5 (75cl)
This hard, medium mineral content spring water has a light, neutral, very drinkable taste.Still and gently carbonated.

Llanllyr – artesian water from Llanllyr, West Wales, £5 (75cl)
Llanllyr is a very soft water which comes from sources beneath certified organic fields in West Wales, sources were first used more than 800 years ago and have been in the same family's hands since 1720.

Tau – spring water from the Cambrian Mountains, Wales, £5 (75cl)
Tau means silent in Welsh and this is a pleasant, easy to drink spring water from the Welsh mountains, with a low mineral content and an almost neutral pH balance.

Speyside Glenlivet – spring water from Ballindalloch, Scotland, £5.50 (75cl)
Good water makes good whisky and from the home of whisky comes Speyside Glenlivet, alkaline spring water from Ballindalloch, Scotland.


Badoit - spring water from St. Galmier, France, £6.50 (75cl)
Badoit has a substantial amount of minerals but a very light taste. It is sparkling water for people who never choose sparkling, as it has small and very fine bubbles. The high level of bicarbonate is beneficial for digestion.

Wattwiller – spring water from Wattwiller, France, £8 (50cl)
Wattwiller's source was discovered by the Romans and is today surrounded by a large swathe of protected woodland. It has a high mineral content and offers a pleasant hint of sweetness to the palate making it ideal for drinking with fine foods.

Fiuggi - spring water from Fiuggi, Italy, £9 (1 litre)
In 1554 Michelangelo spoke about the curative effects of Fiuggi spring water. It has a low mineral content, fairly significant carbonation, an almost neutral pH factor and is said to be very popular at the Vatican.

Panna- spring water from Villa Parma, Italy, £6 (75cl)
Hard and slightly alkaline, this still water has been recognised for centuries for its quality and distinctive taste by nobles and locals from the Tuscan Apennines.

San Pellegrino – spring water from San Pellegrino Terme, Italy, £5.25 (75cl)
This water's greatest asset is its very low nitrate level, indicating an unspoiled source and its high mineral content offers a significant source of sulfates and calcium. It has a pleasant light sparkle, which compliments light mediterranean cooking.

Solé – spring water from Nuvolento, Italy, £5 (75cl)
Bottled at its Lombard source near the Alps, this water has an interesting combination of high bicarbonate and low sodium.

Glaciana – glacier water from Osa, Norway, £9 (50cl)
Glaciana is glacier spring water from the small village of Osa, at the inland end of the Hardanger Fjord in western Norway. It is remarkably pure with exceptionally low mineral content, perhaps the lowest found in any bottled water in the world.

Iskilde - artesian spring water from the Mossø Conservation area in Denmark £9 (1 litre)
Iskilde means cold spring' in Danish and was discovered in 2001 in the Mossø conservation area. The exact age of the water isn't known but it is believed that it could date back as far as the last ice age.

OGO – spring water from Tilburg, Netherlands, £6 (33cl)
OGO spring water from the Netherlands contains no less than 35 times more oxygen than regular water does and has a refreshing and revitalising effect on exhaustion especially after a long flight.

Voss – artesian water from Iveland, Norway, £9 (80cl)
It comes from the country's south coast – specifically, the remote, thinly populated Iveland area, northeast of Kristiansand. Rock and ice have protected the artesian source for hundreds of years.


Finé – artesian water from Shuzenji, Japan, £15 (72cl)
Finé is artesian water from Japan. Its bottle is modelled on a traditional sake one and it is a perfect companion to sushi, sashimi and caviar. Finé has low mineral content and a slightly sweet taste due to its pH balance and an amount of silica.

Fiji – artesian water from Yaqara Valley, Fiji, £6.50 (1 litre)
The remoteness of the island ensures that this exquisite still artesian mineral water is uncontaminated by artificial substances. It has a low mineral content, is high in silica, slightly sweet with an overall smooth sensation on the palate.

Waiwera – spring water from Waiwera Resort, New Zealand, £9 (1 litre)
Waiwera Mineral Water was first bottled and sold in the 1870's, when people travelled many miles to take the waters' at Waiwera Thermal Resort in New Zealand.

Antipodes – artesian water from Otakiri, Whakatane, New Zealand, £9 (1 litre)
New Zealand's Rotomo Hills are totally free of industry and very nearly of people, so serve as a pristine source for Antipodes soft, low mineral content, artesian water with a neutral taste.

420 Volcanic - spring water from Tai Tapu, New Zealand, £21 (42cl)
Sourced from a spring, the Tai Tapu, at the bottom of an extinct volcano 420 Volcanic bubbles to the surface through 200 metres of age old volcanic rock.

Cloud Juice – rainwater from King Island, Australia, £9 (75cl)
Cloud Juice is rainwater, bottled at one of the most remote places in the world, King Island, Tasmania. With the Cape Grim Weather station nearby, King Island enjoys the cleanest air in the world and the cleanest rainwater.

Berg – iceberg water from Newfoundland, Canada, £15 (50cl)
Berg from Newfoundland is pure, fresh iceberg water from one of the cleanest and unspoiled regions of the world. Iceberg water is unique. This water's journey started over 15,000 year's ago in the ancient glaciers of western Greenland. Isolation has made its source totally inaccessible to man. Only when a large piece of ice breaks into the sea, can it be harvested'.

Lauquen – artesian water from San Carlos de Barilouche, Argentina, £9 (75cl)
Lauquen spring water begins as ice and rain in the remote Andes and travels upwards under its own pressure, emerging in a hollow in San Carlos Barilouche, Patagonia.

10 Thousand BC – glacier water from Hat Mountain Glacier, British Columbia, £15 (75cl)
Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years, 10 Thousand BC water comes from melted glacier ice, sourced in the pristine Coastal Glacier Range in British Columbia, Canada.

Mahalo Deep Sea Water – deep sea water, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, £20 (71cl)
From Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, this rare deep sea water, was orignally a freshwater iceberg which melted thousands of year ago and, being of different temperature and salinity to the sea water around it, sank to become a lake at the bottom of the ocean floor. The water has been collected through a 3000ft pipeline off the shores of Hawaii.

Just Born Spring Drops – spring water from Nilgris Mountains, India, £21 (1 litre)
Bottled at source to maintain its purity and freshness, Just Born Spring Drops is from the Nilgris Mountains in India. It is naturally filtered through the mountain layers and is suitable for all ages, particularly people with sensitive digestions, new born babies, children, pregnant ladies and the elderly.

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