I really do not know how to explain this to you but…
In Pakistan and India if a full glass of mineral water (or any thing else) has been sipped at by someone, it becomes “Jhoota” – means impure. Same is the case with food items. Now when it comes to translating the case in English it becomes difficult. I would agree with you that the following translations sound ugly … but, could you help me improve them?
1- She would rather die of thirst than drink “used” water.
2- She would rather die of thirst than drink “already-drunk”
Or any thing else?