When picking designer water, look for minerals, chose on taste

Dec 19, 2016 by Chef Mary Beth LawtonJohnson

Nothing is considered too good for the yacht’s owner and guests. The designer fabric and furniture, the designer clothes, even the chef-designed food all play a part in the makeup and personality of a yacht.

Even the most basic of items must be designed especially for yacht guests. I’m speaking about the designer water.

Yachts spend an incredible amount of money on the bottled stuff. But how do yacht crew know what is the best water for the yacht? Yes, the owner and guests will request certain brands, but it’s best for us to know what makes designer waters different and how to provide the best for our bosses and guests.

When we walk into a store to buy bottled water, we see all the labels and keywords that try to entice us: Natural spring water; electrolytes; PH-balanced; alkaline; carbonated or spring. Just how much of this is phoney and how much is real?

Just by breathing and living, we lose valuable electrolytes, which are minerals with an electric charge. Water replenishes them. Some of the main minerals our bodies need are magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium, most of which are found in mineral water.

Mineral water contains no more than 250 parts per million of dissolved solids, trace elements and minerals. No other minerals can be added.

When buying bottled water, it’s better to select the ones with some minerals. Steer clear of water from municipal sources, city sources or water labeled as distilled or purified. That’s the same as tap water, which is disinfected to protect us from bacteria and toxins. With disinfecting comes DBP (disinfectant by-products), which can interact with organic matter and cause havoc in our bodies.

Instead, look for water that comes from an artesian well or a natural source. Artesian well water uses sandstone or other stone as the aquifer, which is a natural filter. Spring water comes from an underground source and is collected at the spring source or by a tapping system.

Pure water has a ph level of 7. Alkaline water has a higher ph of 8 or 9. Some experts say that this type of water diminishes the acidosis in the body. There is no proof that it does, but because it contains minerals that can accumulate in the body, someone with kidney disease might not want to drink it. A diet high in fresh vegetables will result in high alkalinity gradually.

Ultimately, choosing a bottled water for the yacht comes down to taste. It’s best to have an assortment of waters onboard for the owners and guests so that they have a choice. These are some of the best waters in the world:

  • Fiji Water is found in stores all over the world. It is tropical rain that is filtered in artesian wells made of volcanic rock, deep beneath the surface and sheltered from outside interference. It is full of minerals and bottled at the source.
  • Sole, found at the base of the Italian Alps in Nouvlento, is low in sodium and founded in 1896.
  • Vittel, hailing from the same-named thermal spa town in France, is the official water of the tour de France and a favorite among athletes. It is reported to be a mineral-rich water due to the rock strata and sandstone the spring flows over.
  • Waianae: the name is Hawaiian. This water hails from the snow-capped peaks of Mauna Loa and runs over lava rock, is full of electrolytes, and is alkaline, which gives it the sweet ending taste. The makers donate a large amount to developing countries to make sure the rest of the world has clean drinking water. Impressive.
  • Acqua Smerladina has been credited with helping the people of Sardinia live to over 100 years of age. The water contains trace minerals and elements and is artesian water that flows over granite.
  • Berg, harvested from icebergs off Newfoundland and Canada, provides some of the purest water found in bottled form. Its origins are over 15,000 years old.
  • Apollinaires is from Germany, which has strict mineral water regulations. It comes from the volcanic Eifel region giving it effervescence. Light and airy, it is considered the king of table waters.
  • Hildon from the UK begins as rainwater that flows over the chalk hills in the Hampshire countryside, which acts as a filter and purifier. Low in sodium with no chemical additives, it is highly prized for its purity.
  • American Summits, a Wyoming-based spring water, is never treated with chemicals and also flows overs granite and metamorphic rock giving it trace elements.
  • And finally, Saint Geron, the queen of bottled waters. It is more than 1,100 years of natural filtration in the making. It is very rich in calcium and magnesium.

One last thought. Despite what the owners and guests request, the watermakers on a yacht provide perfectly acceptable drinking and cooking water without all the plastic waste. But that’s only true if the water tanks are maintained properly and if the yacht fills the tank from a reputable source. Too many crew have suffered from giardia and other bacteria found in water from poor sources.

Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a certified executive pastry chef and Chef de Cuisine and has worked on yachts for more than 25 years. Comments are welcome at editor@the-triton.com.


About Chef Mary Beth LawtonJohnson

Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a certified executive pastry chef and Chef de Cuisine and has worked on yachts for more than 25 years.

View all posts by Chef Mary Beth LawtonJohnson →

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