If you’re making yourself a cocktail, the last drink that will be on your mind is water. It kind of defeats the purpose of hard liquor, doesn’t it? The thing about water, though, is that it’s an essential component of any drink. And even just a tiny amount can impact the cocktail’s overall taste.
In general, the alcoholic ingredients in a cocktail are pretty flavorsome. Also, you usually have a mixer of some kind which brings a lot of flavor in its own right. So, if your tap water is of high quality, you probably don’t need to worry about the taste.
There are a couple of things that can contribute to poor-tasting tap water. In most places, tap water is perfectly safe to drink, but the factors which can have a detrimental effect on taste are still often present.
Why Your Water Tastes Bad?
The most common causes will come from two primary sources. One of which is how the water is treated, and the other is the plumbing involved in getting it in your home’s main lines.
So in the case of treatment, you can sometimes get a bad taste from chlorine. This is, of course, what we know primarily as something that is put into the water of a swimming pool to keep it clean, and the same principle applies to tap water.
Chlorine is often included in main water lines because it can make it safe to drink, but this can lead to a strong taste. We all recognize the smell from being around pools in the past, so we know how strong it can be.
And then there’s the concept of ‘hard water,’ which has more to do with the passage from treatment plants to your faucet. If the water passes through porous rock such as chalk and limestone, it becomes hard water high in magnesium and calcium.
This accounts for most tap water, but it’s not dangerous. That’s why most people probably don’t view it as a huge deal, and it’s also not guaranteed to be an issue in terms of taste, but it can be. So what can you do to prevent this?
Determine the Root Cause
You won’t even be thinking about this unless you have noticed that the cocktails you make aren’t as satisfying as you would like them to be. And while chances are it will be due to one of the things we’ve mentioned, you should be sure of the cause.
You could find that your cocktails taste funny and then just go ahead and get yourself a descaler, assuming that it’s hard water resulting in limescale, but that might not be your situation at all.
You might personally be dealing with something else entirely, which may not be related to chlorine or hard water. Perhaps a fault or contaminant that is specifically affecting your home or your street and could be dangerous for all you know.
The first step is to test the tap water. This process is easier than it sounds because there are many home water test kits available right now that you can use to identify all different kinds of bacteria and contamination.
So get your hands on a test kit, and then work on focusing on the cause. You will probably find that it is one of the factors we discussed above, and if that’s the case, you can start looking for a solution.
Get a Water Filtration System
Having some kind of filtration system is likely going to be your best bet, and there are many different options for you. For a cheap and simple solution, you can look for a filtration pitcher.
These products are prevalent now, and most of them act as water softeners. This will ensure that the minute particles of stone resulting from hard water will be disposed of.
You can also get water softeners which you can install directly into your main lines. This will be a professional job, probably costing you a bit more, but it will ultimately be convenient.
Your filtered water will come directly out of the tap, and you won’t have to worry about leaving it to sit in the pitcher for a couple of minutes until it's ready for use in your cocktails. Then there are also descalers, as mentioned earlier.
You can use a descaler if the main problem you are dealing with is hard water-induced limescale. A descaler can be a mechanical system of its own, which you can get installed, or a solution you treat the water with.
A water softener should help deal with limescale, too, so you should decide whether to opt for one of those or a descaler. The latter is a more targeted solution, but it might be good to have all of your bases covered in case more issues with your tap water pop up.
If you’ve ever made a cocktail with water, you know that it tastes different than one without. You might not be able to find the difference at first and may think your drink is just as good either way, but after drinking them side by side for a while, the differences will become more apparent!
So whether or not you imbibe in hard liquor—don’t forget about adding some H2O. It doesn’t have to be expensive bottled stuff; tap water can do wonders if it’s high quality.
There is a relatively simple solution to your problem of bad-tasting tap water. Its taste may be messed up by things like chlorine or limescale. But there are various ways to solve it, and it is not something you should have to put up with if it’s affecting your cocktail drinking experience.