Review: Perrier Water
Everyone has their favourite spirit, cocktail recipe, glass and so on but the importance of water in creating delicious cocktails is all too often overlooked. I like to think that I appreciate the importance good water in my drinks but even I surprised myself when I recently discovered the joy of Perrier water in cocktails.
My surprise stems from the fact that I am not a ‘long’ cocktail drinker in general and I had always associated the use of carbonated water with refreshing, but ultimately less flavoursome cocktails than my usual preferred libations. I like to think I’m open to trying new things however so a recent invitation to check out how Perrier water works in cocktails piqued my interest in challenging my preconceptions.
Perrier water originates from a spring in the city of Vergeze in France, and has been for over 100 years. Interestingly, the water is naturally carbonated and the CO2 is ‘captured’ deep within the spring then added back to the water at a consistent ‘concentration’ that is reportedly the same as at the waters source. It is this carbonation that gives Perrier water its uniqueness within then market, and makes for an excellent ingredient in mixed drinks. Whilst many carbonated waters are somewhat aggressive on the palate, the bubble size of Perrier is distinctly smaller thus offering a more delicate fizz on the palate. Rather than be the dominant characteristic in drinks, the carbonation instead offers a more subtle mouthfeel that works wonderfully in all manner of drinks. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
30ml Campari, 30ml Dubonnet Rouge, 30ml Perrier Water. Stir with ice and garnish with an orange twist.
This is a wonderfully light and refreshing aperitif that still delivers in the flavour department courtesy of the rich flavours of the Campari and Dubonnet rouge. Campari can be an acquired taste but the Perrier cuts through the bitterness to ensure it is not too overpowering. Instead the drinker is left with a subtle but lingering bitter finish that makes this really rather moreish!
Bathtubs and Bubbles
50ml gin, 10ml Cointreau, 10ml sugar syrup, 15ml lemon juice, 2 dash absinthe, 75ml Perrier water. Shake ingredients except Perrier with ice and strain into a champagne flute, top with Perrier.
This is a great example of a drink that benefits from the delicate fizz of Perrier. With regular sparkling water the other flavours are lost in the carbonation and what you are left with is a not-as-good-as-with-chapagne cocktail. Instead, the Perrier’s more subtle approach to carbonation allows the flavours of the other ingredients to shine through, with the absinthe in particular adding a good bit of character to this deceptively easy drinking cocktail.
35ml Rye Whiskey, 15ml Triple Sec, 7.5ml Maraschino liqueur, 15ml lemon juice, 50ml Perrier water. Build all ingredients over ice in a highball glass, or ideally multiply the quantities and serve in a punch bowl!
For those in the mood for a cocktail that delivers the depth of flavour offered by aged spirits, this is the one for you. This is a nice punchy punch that highlights the peppery bite of the Rye whiskey but in a lighter and more refreshing drink than rye is often associated with. The flavours are complex and complemented by the subtle fizz of the the Perrier which seems to accentuate the flavours more than you would expect with the level of dilution. It also proves to anyone that generally likes their cocktails stronger that adding water as a lengthener needn’t compromise on flavour.