London hotel Claridge's is to launch a water list featuring 30 mineral water brands from around the world, including one priced at £50 a litre.
The water has been sourced from all corners of the globe including the Tai Tapu volcano in New Zealand, the Hawaiian deep seas and the Nilgiris Mountains in India.
Topping the list is 420 Volcanic from New Zealand, costing £21 for 42cl (£50/litre), and promising a ‘pleasant smooth sensation on the palate’.
Other brands on offer include ‘Cloud Juice’ rainwater from Australia (£12/litre), Danish water possibly dating back to the last Ice Age and Italian brand Fiuggi (£9/litre), favoured by the Pope.
Experts are able to differentiate between the mineral content and pH balance, and offer advice on food matching.
Finé from Shuzenji, Japan (£20.98/litre) has a slightly sweet taste and is the perfect accompaniment to sushi, while Welsh water Llanllyr’s (£6.67/litre) distinctively soft taste goes well with salads.
‘Water is becoming like wine’, Claridge’s food and beverage director Renaud Grégoire said. ‘Every guest has an opinion and asks for a particular brand.’
And at £20-50 a litre at the top end, the luxury palate cleansers have price tags to match a wine list.
Claridge’s provides an alternative however. Guests can enjoy a jug of ‘London water’ free of charge, which may be the smartest choice yet. London tap water emerged a surprise winner at Decanter’s mineral water blind tasting in 1999.
A spokesman for Thames Water confirmed, ‘Our water is of the highest standard and it costs less than a 10th of a penny per litre’.
Written by Lucy Shaw