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Icebergs In A Bottle Quench Californian Thirst

Ancient icebergs in a bottle, marketed as Borealis (northern lights), are the cool new drink in California where demand now outstrips supply, but West Coasters who drink melted glacier ice are wondering what all the fuss is about. John Howard reports.

The water from melted Arctic icebergs, marketed as "the purest of the pure", is selling at $US10 a bottle in California.

Ronald Stamp, a 45 year-old former fish wholesaler from Newfoundland, spent his savings renovating a barge and last year set out to round-up icebergs which had broken off and threatened Arctic shipping lanes.

Arctic glaciers regularly shed icebergs, creating such a shipping hazard that fisherman from Greenland and Canada have to remove 150,000-year-old monoliths from shipping lanes.

Stamp caught a burg bigger than the Titanic and hacked it up at sea into car-sized chunks which were then melted and filtered into stylish bottles.

The French, who traditionally dominate the multi-billion dollar water business, are not amused.

One French water salesman sneered "It's probably got polar bear pee in it."

That hasn't put Stamp off and he is now in London marketing his water to, you guessed it, the Titanic Bar in Piccadilly Circus.

But West Coasters have been drinking pure melted glacier water for decades and there is even now a recipe which carbonates the water, adds pure essences and will be called Glacier Lemon.

Add guarana and different vitamins to our own glacier water and you also have a balanced natural sports drink.

Who knows, perhaps a new drink made from melted West Coast glacier's could be called Aurora Australis - the southern lights. Now that would be true north/south competition.



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