The book Fine Waters and the accompanying website have been real eye-openers for me. In another post I wrote about how the author Michael Mascha categorizes bottled waters. In this post I'll talk about how he recommends serving bottled waters. And in another post I'll share his advice on pairing water with food and wine.
Mascha would prefer that you didn't. He says, "Ice is the natural enemy of bottled water." He prefers serving water at the proper temperature (see below) and avoiding ice altogether. But if you must, make ice cubes with the same water you're serving.
For cocktails, he recommends high-end water with a neutral pH (around 7.0) and low amount of dissolved solids (TDS).
"Toasting with a water goblet just looks silly," says Mascha, bemoaning that water glasses as part of stemware sets are shorter and made with heavy glass.
He notes that some manufacturers like Riedel have come out with stemware designed for water that are tall and thin. I'll have to track some down.
Mascha stores his water in a wine cellar at 55 degrees, which is also about his serving temperature (see below). The International Bottled Water Association recommends storing bottles away from sunlight, at lower than room temperature, and not near strong chemicals like paint thinner. (I suppose that would also prevent accidentally drinking from the wrong bottle. )
Recommended for still water in ugly plastic bottles, but otherwise unnecessary.
It sounds like 55 degrees Fahrenheit is Mascha's default temperature, especially when comparing brands to each other.
Below is a chart of his ideal temperature for serving bottles of different effervescence, from least to most.
The Water Project on Alcademics is research into water in spirits and in cocktails, from the streams that feed distilleries to the soda water that dilutes your highball. For all posts in the project, visit the project index page.