It’s already been home to the world’s most expensive cocktail and the world’s oldest Old Fashioned, now Belfast’s Merchant Hotel claims to be “breaking the mould yet again”… with the launch of Ireland’s first dedicated water menu.
A press release issued by the hotel has introduced the new menu, which boasts an exclusive range of 13 bottled waters, “curated to include some of the world’s purest waters”. Bottles originate from 10 countries including Italy, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Fiji.
Prices on the new water menu start from £4.95 (€7) and go right up to £26.45 (€37.42) per bottle, with a description of the water and its mineral content “guiding guests through the options available”.
The Merchant has also appointed two new water butlers that can help guests choose the water that is “right for their palate”.
Commenting on the launch of the new water menu, Gavin Carroll, general manager of The Merchant Hotel said: “Just like wine, the location where water is produced will impact on its taste and flavour. Whilst experts can differentiate between the mineral content and PH balance of different types of water, discerning consumers are also increasingly demanding a wider choice of waters.
“The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience. Our water butlers can help customers decide on the type water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.
“The brands featured on our new menu are some of the world’s best and have been sourced from a range of global locations including glaciers, tropical islands and mountains.
“Of course, we know these luxury waters won’t be to everyone’s taste and new menu will be offered as an additional option to our current water menu that includes local Irish brands and for those that don’t want to splash out on water, we can still offer a glass of ‘Belfast water’, free of charge.”
The list in full…
Iceberg, Still: Canadian Arctic Ice shelf Newfoundland – £26.45 750ml Btl
In the Canadian Arctic, the snow froze and compacted into enormous glacial walls, sheltered from all impurities from the outside world. Thousands of years later, the ice is considered to hold the purest water on earth. The water has the lowest mineral content of any bottled water, resulting in a smooth and neutral taste. TDS 9mg – Sodium 1.5mg – Magnesium 0.4mg – Calcium 0.7mg
Fiji, Still: Fiji Islands Rainforest – £5.50 1000ml Btl
Fiji water begins as rain falling on the tropical island of Viti Levu’s north coast and is drawn from an artesian aquifer that lies hundreds of feet below the edges of a primitive rain forest, as it filters down through layer of ancient volcanic rock, the natural filtration process introduces the mineral silica which contributes to a distinctively smooth mouthfeel. TDS 224mg – Sodium 18mg – Magnesium 15mg – Calcium 18mg
Chanteldon, Sparkling: France – £8.45 750ml Btl
This naturally carbonated water is slowly filtered through the rocks of the Chateldonnaise mountains in France and emerges from the spring at a constant temperature of 6˚C.Chateldon has been continuously bottled since 1650 when King Louis XIV brought in barrels by mule to Versailles. TDS 1882mg – Sodium 240mg – Magnesium 49mg – Calcium 383mg
Basalt, Sparkling: Faroe Islands Suouroy – £5.45 500ml Btl
Three different basalt layers constitute these remote and pristine Faroe Islands. Suouroy, the southernmost island is in the lowest of these layers, dating back 58 million years. Seeping through the alkaline basalt layers, combined with zeolitic fractions, the water is perfectly purified and softened, acquiring its distinct taste and character with a high pH giving it a hint of sweetness. TDS 1200mg – Sodium 150mg – Magnesium 85mg – Calcium 90mg
Veen, Still: Finland Konisaajo – £7.95 660ml Btl
The first source of VEEN water lies hidden away from the world in the wilderness of Finnish Lapland. The water is filtered through an ice age till at the Konisaajo natural spring area. The spring area is located near a small village called Tengelio between two hills which are mainly layers of sand and gravel that were formed after the Weichsalian glacier during the early formation of the Baltic Sea. TDS 17mg – Sodium 1.9mg – Magnesium 0.6mg – Calcium 2mg
Saint Geron, Sparkling: France Auvergne – £7.85 750ml Btl
The mineral spring of Saint Geron in Auvergne has a long and proud history. Enjoyed by the Romans, this naturally sparkling water is the result of a thousand year voyage, starting with rainfall seeping into the soil and following crevices deep down into the earth. Enriched by minerals along the way, it rises to the surface with a burst of complexity and is heralded for its health benefits. TDS 1158mg – Sodium 225mg – Magnesium 53mg – Calcium 79mg
SNO Glacial, Still: Iceland – £7.15 750ml Btl
From the 20,000 year old Eyjafjallajökull Glacier in Iceland, completely unaltered with nothing added or taken away. 100% Natural. SNO comes from a time when the world was unspoiled and un-polluted, where it is filtered naturally through layers of volcanic lava rock. It is naturally high in Oxygen. TDS 52mg – Sodium 7.2mg – Magnesium 2.9mg – Calcium 2.4mg
Fuiggi Italy, Still: Frosinone – £11.50 1000ml Btl
Loved by Michelangelo, Fiuggi mineral water is a natural medicine, Italy’s pride and natural wonder. The healing Fiuggi water is an effective cure for urinary tract infections, gout, arthritis and arthrosis. TDS 122mg – Sodium 6.4mg – Magnesium 6.3mg – Calcium 15.9mg
De l’Aubier Maple Sap Water: Canada – £15.50 750ml Btl
This is the only water of its kind in the world. A still water of vegetal origin made from maple sap. Through the biological phenomenon of osmosis, it rises to the tree’s branches during the night and flows back to the roots during the day. TDS 260mg – Sodium 2mg – Magnesium 2mg – Calcium 2mg
Vichy Catalan, Sparkling: Spain Girona – £6.45 1000ml Btl
This naturally sparkling water rises from a unique hot spring in Girona at 60oc. Ancient rulers, conquerors and health seekers have been coming to this spring for health benefits since the middle ages. Vichy Catalan mineral water is good for you, containing 27 of the 34 minerals that the human body needs for good health. TDS 3052mg – Sodium 1100mg – Magnesium 6.4mg – Calcium 14mg
Whitehole Springs, Still: UK Mendip Hills Somerset – £4.95 750ml Btl
At over 15,000 years old, Whitehole Springs are the only Tufa springs in Europe. Tufa, a coral-like substance, is formed from the high levels of calcium as the water flows from deep within the ancient Mendip Hills, Somerset. The still water is soft on the tongue and slightly sweet in taste. It is also very refreshing, just as a mineral water is expected to be. TDS 332mg – Sodium 6mg – Magnesium 6mg – Calcium 110mg
Speyside, Sparkling: UK Scotland Glenlivet Estate – £4.95 750ml Btl
Sourced from the highest naturally occurring spring in the UK on the remote Scottish Crown Estate of Glenlivet – no less than 1,000 feet above sea level. The spring produces water with an unusually low mineral content. TDS 58mg – Sodium 4mg – Magnesium 2mg – Calcium 12mg
Borjomi, Sparkling: Georgia – £13.95 500ml Btl
This is the purest glacier water from the Bakuriani mountains and originally from the factory of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov in late 19th century. Due to unique mineral complex of volcanic origin found in Borjomi this naturally sparkling mineral water promotes immunity and aids the digestive system. TDS mg – Sodium mg – Magnesium 50mg – Calcium 100mg