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Still or sparkling? A water-only cocktail bar is coming to London later this year

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If the sommelier's approach signals nothing to you but the sneaking suspicion everyone knows you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, this new bar may not be the one for you.

Just as the world of wine seems to present an overwhelming amount of choice, The Sunday Times reports that the question of “Still or sparkling?” is becoming ever more complex as Selfridges plans to open a water cocktail bar in its London store later this year. That is, a no-alcohol bar based entirely around different types of water, with a top-end bottle slated to sell at £150.

Though it’s not entirely clear how the word ‘cocktail’ comes into play, it’s thought that the store will use water sommeliers to create a menu showcasing different waters from around the world.

One such H20 expert, Martin Riese, told the paper water can have “complex” flavours thanks to its mineral content, and that, like wine, terroir plays a role, saying: “One can actually taste the region and depth from which the water comes.”

However, so far there's been no official information released and while it could be the watery peak of #eatclean, there's also the possibility it's a temporary event – last year, Selfridges opened a pop-up water bar as part of an exhibition on Project Ocean, designed to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our seas.

Indeed, the store's Twitter account recently posted about its commitment to reducing plastic waste from one-use water bottles.

The £150 bottle cited is Fillico Jewelry Water from Kobe, Japan, which comes in glassware decorated with Swarovski crystals and filters its way through the Mount Rokkō mountain range.

The idea of a curated water menu is not new – water sommeliers have been creeping outside of their natural LA habitat for the last decade. Back in 2007 Claridge’s in London created a list topped by a volcanic water from New Zealand, priced at £20 for 420ml, and in July last year, a restaurant in Belfast made headlines offering 13 bottled waters, the priciest coming in at £26.45.

The new bar will possibly focus on infusions as well as designer brands and global variations. Would you try it?


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