Does one add spring water or distilled water to premium rums?

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Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 474 ratings Author Posted 26 Sep '23

Where I live, there is a looming crisis for drinking water. Large bottles of safe drinking water have disappeared from the shelves. I did find one store that had a few dozen bottles of distilled water left, so I bought three gallons.

Since I hardly ever use distilled water, it was time to taste this against my usual spring water. The distilled water tasted like nothing at all and this is why many recommend using this to tone down the high proof premium rums. Sorry, but I will stick to my spring water that has a much better taste than the distilled stuff. Spring water is a far cry from adding cola or ginger ale to rums, but the subtle difference over the awful distilled water justifies me using spring water to tone down the bite in some premium rums.

What does everyone else think about this?

Reeb Barbill 🇮🇲 | 67 ratings Replied 26 Sep '23

Your first two sentences are one of the most dystopian things I've ever read.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 474 ratings Author Replied 26 Sep '23


I am afraid that my first two sentences describe a dystopian reality for the New Orleans area. Because of the drought, the Mississippi River is now at one of it's lowest levels ever. When this happens, salt water creeps upstream as a wedge. A clay sill is built to prevent any further intrusion into the drinking water supply. But this time, the sill has to be built up so high as to impede navigation of ships. This is a terrifying reality that is expected to last until January!!! I live on the north shore of the big lake and our water supply comes from a fresh water well. However, it has been known to cause health problems.

So my concern over which water to use for rum pales in comparison to this problem.

And I like how your name is really "beer" spelled backwards!

rumrunner 🇺🇸 | 47 ratings Replied 27 Sep '23

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 80 ratings Replied 30 Sep '23

2 cubes of premium bottled water and I'm good to go. Never thought of distilled so going to have to get some distilled water and give that a go. Only used distilled water for my batteries, LOL!

Jara avatar image
Jara 🇨🇿 | 353 ratings Replied 30 Sep '23

We are taught that distilled water is industrially produced, not suitable for food production, but only for technical use (irons, car batteries...) If we need high-quality water, with a neutral taste, we use water from high mountain springs. 🤔

Rumrun11 avatar image
Rumrun11 (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 125 ratings Replied 1 Oct '23

I did a quick bit of research on the internet (because if it is on the internet it must be true :)   Anyway, from what i found was that it was best to use water with the least amount of minerals, which seems to be distilled water with purified being the 2nd best option. And even though distilled and purifed are very similar, purifed does leave in some of the essential minerals but not near the extent or spring or tap water. 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 474 ratings Author Replied 1 Oct '23


Thanks for the research and clarification. It looks like purified water is best for premium rums.

On my trip to Juneau Alaska in the summer of 2018, I took an all day boat ride to a glacier that was calving. On the return trip, they made blue glacieritas with melted glacier water. SOME GOOD!!! So when I got home, I bought a bottle of glacier water and froze a few trays of it for ice cubes. All I could say, was WOW!!! You just have to try adding glacier ice cubes to your best rums! And writing this reminds me that I need to do this again. My icemaker makes me really lazy.

Rumrun11 avatar image
Rumrun11 (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 125 ratings Replied 1 Oct '23

Paul B.

Funny that you mentioned glacier ice. I am currently in Longyearbyen Norway for a vacation and glacier ice is used in a couple of the bars. The glacier ice is amazing and I rated Millionario XO, El Dorado 21 and Diplomatico 2007 tried neat and on glacier ice. The glacier ice melts less slowly in the glass than regular ice. Also, as I am sure as in Alaska as here in Longyearbyen, the ice you had was probably several hundred if not thousand years old. Back to the original discussion question though I normally just use filtered tap water or ice from the icemaker in the freezer. But you brought up an interesting topic and I will try distilled water and make ice as well and see if I can notice any difference.

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 80 ratings Replied 15 Oct '23

Wow, U bet a good start up company selling glacier ice cube could be quite lucrative! Lol

Andy avatar image
Andy (PREMIUM) 🇬🇧 | 147 ratings Replied 16 Oct '23

Not sure if this is helpful, but E&A Scheer sent me a sample at 70% recently and suggested getting to 40% be adding "demineralized water"

DB avatar image
DB 🇺🇸 | 79 ratings Replied 7 Apr '24

My opinion, if you want it unadulterated, then the purest water you can use that contibutes zero flavor would be the way to go.

My guess, in small enough quantities, you will not know. Drops? Ain't no way you're telling the difference. A few milliliters? Maybe. You'd need to perform blind testing to know if it really makes a difference for you.

SlandT 🇺🇸 | 26 ratings Replied 7 Apr '24

I know with coffee you should use spring water, not distilled because of the acidic pH and lack of minerals which can make coffee taste flat or even bitter.  Also, if there is copper piping in the coffee maker, it can leech some out, which isn't good for you.

Good spring water can make coffee taste better and smoother.  On the down side, what spring water you use will alter the flavor.

For rum though, I'd stick with distilled or reverse osmosis water.  Of course you can buy remineralization packs on Amazon if you want to stay consistent.