Water, Water Everywhere

What’s the best-tasting kind of water?

Julia Felsenthal

If you were born before the year 1990, you may remember the days when bottled water meant a choice between Evian (on the tennis court), Perrier (as an aperitif), and Hinckley and Schmidt (in a paper cup at your doctor’s office). You may remember that when you went for bike rides you inserted into your water holder not a bottle of fresh mineral spring water, but unfiltered tap water held in a mildly carcinogenic plastic squeeze bottle. You may even remember the advent of Clearly Canadian, a drink that rolled around in 1988, and tried, far ahead of the curve, to make drinking water not just a practical necessity, but a sugary party in your mouth.
These days, the experience of shopping for bottled water is akin to the experience of shopping for luxury denim in the mid-aughts, or cupcakes since Sex and the City aired: The market is completely saturated, prices are inflated, and it’s pretty hard to determine where the value is. A quick search for bottled water on Amazon.com reveals nearly 200 distinct brands. Would you like your water caffeinated? Or extracted from 3,000 feet under the sea? How about infused with anti-aging chemicals? No problem!

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Bottled water. Which kind of water is the best?

Photograph by Comstock/Thinkstock.

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