You’ve probably heard of wine sommeliers, but did you know that water sommeliers exist too?
That’s right — where formerly wines, watches, and wheels were the hottest items on the luxury collector’s list, luxury bottled waters are coming up as a somewhat unsettling and surprising contender. Going beyond your regular grocery store supply, a select number of companies are going the extra mile, quite literally, to find unique sources of water to develop different carbonations, colours, and tastes to the regular drinking experience. Often packaged in artful and extravagant bottles, these are not to be compared with your regular morning sips, but rather savoured on a special occasion. Much like champagne, except, it’s water.
Whether you’re somewhat of a self-proclaimed water connoisseur or simply looking for a reminder to drink more of the stuff, read ahead to find out all about the wonders of volcanic, glacial, and iceberg waters, packaged in wondrous glass and diamond-encrusted bottles and sourced from posh peaks and artisanal aquatic areas. Richly informative or downright ridiculous, it’ll definitely make you want to pop some bottles (of water).
Did you know iceberg water was a thing? Taking bottled water to all kinds of new peaks, Svalbardi water comes harvested from icebergs that have been calved off glaciers in the Norwegian island territory of Svalbard, a mere 1000 kilometres from the North Pole. From here, the icebergs are melted in specially constructed machines, before being bottled. A truly exclusive beverage with an intriguing journey, the water is described to be ‘as fresh as the day it fell as snow up to 4000 years previously’ — and with only 13,000 bottles available per expedition, it’s a limited edition item that is sure to be a true icebreaker at any dinner party.
Dubbed “the most expensive water bottle in the world” by Guinness World Records in 2010, Italian luxury brand Diverachi bears with Acqua di Cristallo a far 24-karat-gold-encrusted cry from your regular water bottle. Priced at a whopping US$60,000 per 750ml, the water comes from natural springs from both Fiji and France, and is sprinkled with gold dust before being poured into its gold bottle casing — though ‘bottle’ feels almost like an understatement here. The design is a tribute to French artist Modigliani, who was noted for his love for painting elongated human faces, and most certainly offers the most extravagant inspiration and exquisite vessel for housing the drink.
It’s not every day that you’ll come across a product that describes itself as the “champagne of water”, but when you do, it’s bound to be the aptly-named Beverly Hills 90H20. A brand that aims to bring the Beverly Hills lifestyle to the bottle, the water is sourced from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, before being infused with added minerals for extra nutritional points. In similar fashion to top quality wines, Beverly Hills 90H20 is produced only in batches of 10,000 bottles each, with a handful of specialty diamond-decorated editions for those seeking an even more exclusive sip of the California cool.
Windy Hollow Farm is an organic food and artesian water provider, sourcing its water directly from Windy Hollow Spring in the Scottish town of Crieff. Part hydropathy retreat, part drinking water artisan, the farm is focused on bringing a relaxing, spa-like drinking experience, that lies close to its natural source. In fact, Windy Hollow suggests its artesian water is best enjoyed chilled — similar to the temperature at which it emerges from the spring — and lists their key ingredient as ‘clean air’. Gone are the days where Scotland’s main drinking claim to fame was scotch, and here come the times when its natural ground water comes to beautiful spring.
Designed to look like chess pieces, “jewellery water” brand Fillico Water is turning hydration into liquid haute couture. Adorned with Swarovski crystals, the bottles offer eye-catching designs in vibrant colours and themes that are sure to catch the eye of any flamboyant fashionista. The water itself comes from a natural mineral source from the Rokko Mountains of Kobe in central Japan, an area which is world-renowned for its famous beef and sake manufacturers. A luxurious product from spring to sip, it’s the perfect bottle for all those who feel that drinking water is never really just about drinking water.
Packaged in what appears almost like a wine bottle, Australian luxury bottled water brand Tasmanian Rain sources its water directly from the rainfall of the southern Australian island of Tasmania. Located on “the edge of the world”, the company describes the air here to be the cleanest on the globe, with air currents travelling from Antarctica over 10,000 miles of open ocean to reach it. The water is collected in bottles as soon as it falls from the sky, eliminating any potential impurities, and making for a soft, clean taste that is likely to be as fresh and as pure as it gets.
Those who sip Hawaiian water Kona Deep know that their drink comes from a dark, deep source. In fact, it’s a source so deep, it’s a little bit electrifying. Kona Deep water comes from an ocean current that lies at near-freezing temperatures at an extreme depth and highly pressured spot at the bottom of the sea. Soaking up electrolytes beneath the underwater volcanic fissures of Hawaii, it’s a water packed with nutrients, that still manages to taste refreshed as it flows out of the bottle. A beverage with a serious voyage behind it, it bears a story that erupts with each sip, quenching the thirst of all those who seek a water that surfs right along the waves of this growing trend.