Yes, that’s right, there is actually just the word “water” in the headline. And this is the case for a good reason. I have not become an ascetic and I am not going to change my subject in order to start a wellness blog, so don’t worry. There won’t be any articles on cucumber masks or self-pressed massage oil in the next few days. No, today’s topic is an indispensable one for me when it comes to cocktails because it is simply part of global bar culture.
Now, perhaps some of you might think that water is simply a trifle that is taken for granted and not worth its own article. But quite the opposite: water is far from being self-evident and is absolutely worth its own article. But one thing at a time: if you’re visiting upscale bars and enjoy the pleasure of fine drinks from time to time, you will surely know this: the attentive bar staff hands the guest a small glass of water and replenishes it in regular intervals. If this is not the case in your bar of trust, there is, in my opinion, a decisive element missing and perhaps you can cautiously suggest the introduction of such a water service. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of bars where no water is served and in case of emergency you have to order it for yourself. But why do I place such value on this water thing?
It’s very simple: it improves the drinking pleasure of the evening and thus the evening itself. As probably everybody knows: alcohol extracts water from the body and by enjoying a glass of water as an accompanying element, this loss of water can be countered a little. The effect is doubly worthwhile because on the one hand the alcoholic effect on you will usually be less dull and strong, while on the other hand regular drinking of water is recommended also by health experts in order to prevent the effects of alcohol on the next morning. Personally I appreciate this very much because neither do I like to be completely drunk, nor to spend the next day in bed whining. It is, of course, also a question of style: with the help of an accompanying water it is much easier for everyone to drink responsibly and it will prevent you from drinking a nice cocktail quickly out of thirstiness.
And what applies to a good bar of course also applies to your own home. If you’re hosting guests and if you’re passionate about cocktails and bar culture (like I am), you should not abstain from serving water. To do this you can of course simply take a beautiful carafe with water, put it on the table and you’re done. This is perfectly fine and classic. However, the water itself can also be enhanced a little bit by flavoring it with different ingredients. This is not only subtly delicate, it also looks very nice and enriches every bar and table. I am not talking about any kind of lemonades (which can also easily be made at home) but only about slightly flavored water. The taste is often very subtle, but clearly perceptible and fine. For example, once I experienced a carafe of water brought to our table at the Jerry Thomas Project in Rome and it was only flavored with the oil of lemon zests. It was unbelievable how aromatic it was and all that was achieved by such a small trick. If you want to notch up the performance, you can of course also adjust the kind of flavored water to the drinks you’re going to serve and choose an appropriate flavor profile. The possibilities are almost limitless and as flavored water becomes more and more widespread also in the course of lifestyle and wellness, you can find a myriad of innovative ideas and suggestions in the vastness of the Internet.
In the photos you can see some of my personal favorites and how I like to prepare them at home. I will occasionally expand the list here in the future:
- Water with pieces of lemon, coriander and cucumber: a very fresh water that is perfectly suited to accompany classic gin cocktails.
- Water with kiwifruit, lightly squeezed blueberries and fresh mint: An aromatic accompaniment to gin cocktails, many Bourbon drinks and also for eau de vies.
- Water with lightly pressed citrus fruits: grapefruit, lime, lemon and orange: a refreshing water which can be used universally and is suitable for many occasions.
There are no limits to your own creativity. Perhaps you have your own recommendations and if you want to, you can describe them in the commentary section.
Of course, I also mentioned a decent carafe. Here I have opted for the Spiegelau Dekantierkaraffe Toscana. You should make sure that everyone has a good view of the fruits and herbs and that the opening of the carafe is big enough to put some ice cubes inside. Cheers!