Things I would like to address before you begin reading this article:
1) I drink sparkling water as often as I feel ready for some reckless spending. Or the experience of drinking soda without any of the good stuff.
2) I’m aware I’ve missed out on some of the greats — Capri, Mangiatorella, Santa Vitorria: I’m sorry. I’m all about delivering, but most of this was sourced from semi-rural areas.
Ok. Now you can indulge yourself in my opinions.
Black and Gold Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Smells like nothing, as it should. Wow, definite flavour. I quite like it. Kind of reminds me of Mingenew or Geraldton tap water (but carbonated, obviously). Read: not bad, I’ll just go ahead and say it: Perth water is BAD. Second sip was kind of weird. Has a weird … I’m tasting dust but that might be the cup I’m using.
Nakd. Luxury Artesian Water
Has braille, nice touch. Hoping it’s more than the brand name. Bottled at “a source in New Zealand.” I like the bottle design. Smells like nothing. This didn’t fizz – lightly carbonated. It’s acidic, so you can tell it is mineral water. Nothing too exciting. Would I call it artesian sparkling water? No.
I don’t trust this water already because I’ve had enough trouble trying to understand what its name is. Enticing but poor design. Smells like nothing. Almost lemony upon immediate taste, but leaves no flavour in your mouth afterwards. Not the type of introductory sparkling water you would want to use to get your self-respecting-non-carbonated-friend on the scene. Least favourite so far.
VOSS — “Sparkling mineralised artesian water from Norway”
Lot of hype about the non-carbonated version of this in my youth (last year) when I was in high school. Witnessed one breaking on the floor and it was shocking (though looking back on it now, it’s hard to tell if I was more taken aback by the point of impact or the perpetrator’s nonchalance about the entire situation. As if they drop VOSS bottles as a simple pastime). Unscented. I like the bottle shape, I can’t speak for everyone, but it fits well in my hand. Tastes almost artificial — like a plastic flavour. There is an odd indeterminable taste about this water when it first hits you.
Perrier — “Natural mineral water fortified with gas from the spring. Captured at source.”
Not fond of the colour of the bottle. Things it’s reminiscent of are olive oil bottles and the Freddo frog mascot. The strongest flavour yet. Offensive flavour. The most bitter tasting water.
Antipodes — “Drink chilled. Drink Often. Drink well.”
“World’s purest waters”
I purchased this in Perth. Prior to that one of my associates described it as “the best sparkling water I’ve ever tasted.” Really hard to open, give me a minute. I really like the bottle — it’s the best looking, but it is very scary to hold. I’ve envisioned myself dropping it every time it’s in my hands and every internal projection of the glass shattering is just as devastating as the last. Also, very scary to pour. A good result in flavour regardless of the bottle’s inconvenience. The smoothest tasting water so far. Soft.
San Pellegrino (affectionately referred to as san pelly, san pell, grino, etc.)
I’ll be honest, I’m most familiar with this brand. When I was maybe 15 I ordered it from Dome as a joke and handled a single grimace-inducing sip. Now I drink the stuff like water. Ha ha ha. I keep sustaining this vice via the bottle shop across the road. The man that always serves me, who looks distinctly like he would be the nippers footy coach in an Australian movie, always looks disappointed. One day I might buy an alcoholic beverage and he’ll pat me on the shoulder and say, “good work, champ” and we’ll finally have the strong connection I seek. Anyway, this tastes good.
After this experience, I think it’s fair to say I feel overwhelmingly refreshed. It’s like having a coke advertisement: a feeling; jarringly refreshing, kick you in the face in quick succession. I also feel as though I have accumulated a dangerous amount of carbon dioxide inside my body. Please do not light a match near me for the next 24 hours.
Words by Skye Newton
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 6 BLUE