Pfft. I only drink locally-produced water from a hand-pumped artisanal spring water generator.
While it sounds like a joke I can see just from the information that there is some genuine variation among these bottled waters--sodium and other minerals tend to make the water salty rather than sweet, and carbonation adds to the "complexity".
Still, water is water. One of the waters comes from an organic farm, but the description says, "Whether it can be classified as organic water or not is a moot point." Yeah, makes sense.
Where do they keep the secret ingredient?
Only in Los Angeles.
And how often are these waters checked to make sure those numbers match to reality in the slightest?
In the tap.
May I recommend the Eau de Frackeau, 2007?
"Grumpa-lumpa-dumpity deedient, you should not ask about the secret ingredient."
$8 for a bottle of water. That takes balls. Reminds me of an old episode of Penn and Tellar where they were filling up fancy looking water bottles from a garden hose and selling the patrons a load of bullshit, and it worked!
Didn't Bruce Sterling do this gag in Holy Fire? I'm pretty sure I remember a bit with someone at a restaurant mulling whether to get the Antarctic deep core sample or the lunar cave ice.
I guess it's your choice how distinguishing you are about water (or probably more accurately, how distinguishing you want people to think you are). I've tasted a number of those brands and do find them different from each other, but not enough to pay that much for a bottle. Besides, saying that Girolsteiner is "Germany’s most consumed mineral water" suggests more that it's "Dasani, but from Germany" than "the greatest water available to Germans". I can't see how the taste of Evian would cause such a strong reaction that it can be marketed similarly to Marmite ("a slightly bitter, unique taste that you will either love or hate"), but what do I know. Ultimately, the taste is probably subtle enough that most of the difference you perceive will be in the surroundings, description and packaging anyway.
Yeah, that episode of P&T really set off my own bullshit detector though, I recreated their tests for friends at a BBQ and everyone could tell which was which, the bottled water was easy to tell. Not that I buy bottled water, that is idiotic.
I have a suggestion for a truly unique drinking experience, one that even the most discerning have probably yet to try, which combines spectacular (and producer assured) purity with the late 20th century poignancy of mankind confronting the power and the danger of knowledge.
I dont' know about Bruce Sterling, but I do know that Penn & Teller did something similar in an episode Bullshit!. They went to a fancy restaurant, had someone pretend to be a water sommelier with a list of different waters, and every single bottle they provided was actually filled from a hose out back. Naturally many of the customers tasted what the sommelier described and bought into the whole concept.
Hey, you can order in bulk as well as just buying the 1L servings in glass bottles!
Any information on the availability of water cocktails? Perhaps some Girolsteiner with a twist of Evian - shaken, not stirred?
The 10ml tasting ampules make great palette cleansers, if the unmediated protons of the rest of the meal are starting to dull your appreciation of it.