It arrived a few days ago, and when I saw the cylindrical plastic packaging I knew it had to be another fine example of the distiller’s art. After all, I am the spirits reviewer for these fine publications and web sites. I opened it and inside was something called H2Orange. I stopped reading right then and there and guessed it would be some sort of flavor infused vodka or rum. So I opened the bottle and took a small sip. My first impression was, “man that’s smooth”. I waited for the subtle hint of orange to tickle my taste buds and I waited and I waited. Either that was the most subtle orange on the planet or my taste buds had imploded and died or there wasn’t any orange at all. Not only wasn’t there any orange flavor but I also couldn’t discern any taste of alcohol, neither vodka not rum nor gin, nothing, NADA. Okay, so in my confusion I reached for the accompanying literature and there was the answer. It had nothing to do with orange flavor of any kind and it had nothing to do with alcohol, it was water! Texas water! WTF!

I initially thought the container had an interesting shape, and it turns out to be a replica of the University of Texas at Austin tower. This bottled water is a fund raiser for the University, whose primary color is orange. The sale of this purified Texas water funds academic scholarships and internships with the goal of raising $1 million annually for the next ten years and beyond. Their motto is; “Drink Water, Bleed Orange, Fund Scholarships”. The water is currently available throughout Texas.

H2Orange is “Texas Purified” to achieve optimum purity and taste. Texas rainwater collects in three Texas rivers – the Atascosa, Nueces and Frio – which flow into Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi. The Corpus Christi Municipal Water District purifies that water to exacting EPA standards, then the Oneta Bottling Company further purifies H2Orange, using a combination of activated carbon, ozone, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and deionization.

It’s pretty good in scotch and water and quite nice as “bourbon and branch” (whiskey and plain water) and makes terrific ice cubes.

By George Brozowski, Spirits reviewer