I used to hold up artisanal ice and fancy mayonnaise as the ultimate expressions of the handmade movement taken much too far, but we have been blessed with something even more un-self aware and unnecessary. This week, Belfast's Merchant Hotel introduced "luxury water," which can only mean one thing: we have reached peak hipsterdom. Nothing can possibly beat the practice of charging $40 for water. This is it. Everyone else, it's time to put away the hand-crafted mustache wax and flavored oxygen, and go home.
It sounds like an idea cut from an SNL episode for being too unbelievable, but according to The Belfast Telegraph, it is absolutely real. The five-star hotel has launched a hand-picked water menu “curated to include some of the world’s purest waters," because the lips of the rich are too good for common tap water. I hear they put fluoride in that stuff. Can you believe it?
Prices start at £4.95 and climb all the way up to £26, which are equivalent to around $8 and $40, respectively. A good chunk of that money must go to transportation costs, because some types of water come from countries as far away as Fiji and the Canadian Arctic.
“Just like wine, the location where water is produced will impact on its taste and flavour," the hotel's general manager says. In case all those water options are making your head spin, the hotel has even appointed two "water butlers" to help discerning customers choose the drink that goes best with their meals.
Needless to say, people are having a field day with the topic on social media.
Best of all, the local Hudson Bar chose to poke fun at the concept as well by creating their own water menu arranged by "level of daftness."
Never change, Ireland. Never change.