Those who have visited Georgia will know that it is famous for three things: Khinkali, wine and Borjomi water. The bottled mineral water is exported to over 40 countries around the world, where it is gaining more and more popularity. But what do we actually know about the origins of this famous drink? Never fear! Where.ge is on hand to offer you some Borjomi know-how.
Borjomi water comes from, yep, you guessed it: the town of Borjomi in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of south-central Georgia. The artesian springs in the nearby valley are fed by water that filters from glaciers covering the peaks of the Bakuriani mountains at altitudes of up to 2,300 m (7,500 ft). The water rises to the surface without pumping and is transported by pipes to two bottling plants in the town of Borjomi. The Borjomi springs were discovered by the Imperial Russian military in the 1820s and were made famous throughout the Russian Empire, making Borjomi a popular tourist destination. The history of the brand is closely associated with the Russian imperial dynasty of Romanov. By the 1890s, Borjomi was being bottled in the Georgian estates of Grand Duke Mikhail of Russia. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent Soviet takeover of Georgia, the Borjomi enterprise was nationalized and the water was made into a top Soviet export.
In the town itself, you can pay 2 GEL to enter the Borjomi Park and taste the water direct from its source, although be warned, it is quite unrecognizable from the bottled water you may be used to! It comes out warm and flat and tasting strongly of minerals. But Georgians (and Russians) swear by it to treat any number of ills!
By Tamzin Whitewood