Every substance has its respective connoisseur. Food = Foodie. Wine = Wino. Drugs = Addict. But I don’t believe there is a term to describe my line of expertise and appreciation for water. Yeah, that’s right, good old H20.
I was hooked from early on: Ice (the frozen state) was my first word. By age 11 I had dabbled in Evian and San Pellegrino, but it wasn’t long until I moved on to Fiji —mesmerized by the exotic packaging. It accompanied me everyday to high school in my brown-bag lunch. By the time I got to college there were some new players on the scene, namely Vitamin Water and Smart Water. Ahh, the good times.
Yes, I am what they call a water snob. I scoff at the distilled imposter brands — ahem, Aquafina, Dasani — that claim to be ‘purified’ to perfect taste. Today my refrigerator’s inventory is always varied: Volvic (my classic staple), Zephyrhills (a local label, is inexpensive but still refreshing), Contrex (first came to my attention when I heard it was ‘slimming’, the verdict still out on that, but until then I do enjoy its unique flavor).
Then there are the so-called designer waters. Their prices are absurd, but isn’t their packaging worth it? You can most often find these labels (think Voss) at around 4AM in the club du jour, when too much Goose has left your body dying of thirst and you’re willing to pay a king’s ransom for some fresh non-toxic fluids.
And on that note, I started thinking… what are the hot new labels of 2006 and where in the world will you find them? Here are my top 4 picks:
1. Bling H2o, South Beach
Think Mynt, Red Room at the Shore Club, and Prive. Why? Because that’s where the ballers be throwin’ down bills on bottles of crystallized Courvoisier. And, sorry, but you can’t exactly follow an iced out show like that with Poland Springs – you got a rep to protect.
2. Antipodes, Los Angeles
The sleek and simple packaging is so Zen, making it the perfect accoutrement to any yogi’s designer gym bag. (So it’s more Sunday brunch at Toast, than all-nighter rage.) Plus, it’s available sparkling or still and can be delivered direct to your doorstep from the New Zealand factory.
3. Fine, New York
It’s aged to perfection (each fluid ounce has been over 1000 years in the making) and has a rich mineral bouquet (acquired from Fuji volcanic rock), so this Japanese import is for sophisticated, discerning palettes only. (i.e., any red-blooded Manhattanite)
4. Voda Voda, Las Vegas
Voda Baby, Voda. The name reads bigger than any neon marquis on the strip and with its expensive price tag, you’re gonna need to win big to afford a sip of this stuff. Straight from Serbia (who knew?), this water is made of a natural compound of bicarbonates that is considered healing, so it’s practically essential by sunrise.
Final Word: Have you had your 8 glasses today? Get out there and expand your H20 repertoire.