If you thought it was difficult to choose a wine for your dinner, stay far away from this hotel in Belfast, Ireland, where you’re expected to understand which water perfectly pairs with your salmon. Once home to the world’s most expensive cocktail — the Original Mai Tai, made with the most exclusive Jamaican Rum from J. Wray and Nephew at a cost of $1,270 — the Merchant Hotel in Belfast now has the world’s most exclusive menu of water, including one variety that will set you back $41 for a bottle.

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The water menu consists of 13 bottles of luxury (yes, that’s what they say) water imported from Fiji, Italy, Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands. Prices begin at £4.95 and go up to £26.95 a bottle. The menu describes the mineral content of each bottle, so that you can choose the right bottle to go with whatever it is you’re eating.

In case you’re not sure just what bottle to choose — the lovely Fijian bottle or the tap from Belfast — the Merchant has also hired two water butlers to help you out. The butlers can explain the “unique benefits, tastes, and attributes” of each type. Gavin Carroll, the hotel’s general manager, says that just like wine, the location where the water is produced help it develop can impact its taste and flavor.

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“Whilst experts can differentiate between the mineral content and PH balance of different types of water,” Carroll said, “discerning consumers are also increasingly demanding a wider choice of waters. The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience. Our water butlers can help customers decide on the type water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.”

If luxury water isn’t your cup of, um…water, don’t despair. You can still save a couple of bucks by requesting good old Belfast city water on tap. Free of charge. No word if the Merchant charges for ice — or if you have to choose the perfect ice pairing for your water.

Via Boing Boing

Images via Adam Selwood and Francois Phillip