Guide to Sparkling Water (Soda Water or Seltzer)

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Everything you need to know about soda watercarbonated watersparkling waterseltzer, and club soda. How to make your own, and recipes that use

Also known as carbonated water or sparkling watersoda water is a unique beverage used in many mixes and recipes. Joseph Priestley invented it in England in 1767 by accident. It happened when he tried to infuse carbon dioxide with H20 during an experiment. Today, it has multiple uses, like dessertsdrinkscocktails, and more!

There are a lot of different types of sparkling water, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. What’s the difference between soda water and seltzer? Is club soda the same as sparkling water? And what on earth is tonic water? This guide will answer all your questions about sparkling water and help you figure out which one is best for you!

sparkling water in a glass with lime

What is Soda Water

A bottle of soda water has no calories. It’s basically regular water with carbonation and a mixture of minerals.

In terms of nutrition, it’s quite healthy, here’s why:

  • No cholesterol 
  • No carbs
  • About seven milligrams of potassium
  • No proteins
  • About 75 milligrams of sodium

Types of Carbonated Water

There are four main types of carbonated water: soda water, seltzer, club soda, and tonic water.

Soda water: Made by adding carbon dioxide to water. It contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Seltzer: Seltzer is made by adding carbon dioxide to water. It does not contain any minerals.

Club soda: Made by adding carbon dioxide to water. It also contains sodium.

Tonic water: Tonic water is made by adding carbon dioxide and quinine to water. It is often used as a mixer for alcoholic drinks.

Drinks Made with Sparkling Water

Here are six beverages you can create with sparkling water:

Ranch Water – This is a cocktail made with tequila and sparkling mineral water called Topo Chico

Italian Sodas – This recipe uses sparkling water to give these cream sodas some bubbles.

Strawberry Tequila Sodas – Fresh strawberries and club soda for a refreshing summer cocktail

Vodka Soda – Made with just two ingredients vodka and sparkling water.

Aperol Spritz – A classic drink made with Aperol and club soda. 

Bikini Cocktail – A summer favorite, this drink has jam, gin, and club soda.

club soda pouring into a glass

Club Soda vs Tonic

Besides the flavors, club soda and tonic water also have other unique properties. For example, each beverage has different additives as well as a different nutritional value.

Making Soda Water 

You can make your own carbonated water. Invest in a soda stream machine that allows you to make your own. The best part about these machines is that you can control how much CO2 goes into the water making it more or less bubbly. Here are some of our favorite soda machines:

Soda Stream

Carbonator III Premium

Philips Stainless Sparkling Machine

The Additives in Club Soda and Tonic 

Sugar and quinine are the only additives in tonic water. The quinine comes from cinchona trees. We also use tonic water in many of our cocktail recipes like these gin and tonics

Many brands use artificial additives. These additives have good properties like natural minerals.

Breaking Down the Flavor Profiles

Tonic water has strong, bitter notes and mild, sweet undertones. Club soda doesn’t pack a big punch. It has a mild flavor that’s fairly salty. 

Because tonic water contains high-fructose corn syrup, sugars, and other sweeteners, it’s basically a soft drink. Carbonated water has no sugars or calories like regular water, so it’s a much healthier option for consumers. If you prefer tonic water, diet tonic waters are available. They’re made with aspartame, which has no calories.

soda water

Club Soda vs Sparkling Water

Sparkling water has good carbonation, plenty of salts, and sulfur. However, unlike club soda, sparkling water’s carbonation is natural.

Both beverages are fizzy, but sparkling water produces fewer bubbles. If you want to feel the fizz under your nose, you’ll need club soda. As for the taste of sparkling water, this will vary based on the water source. 

A bottle of natural sparkling water is very good for you. It has no calories, sweeteners, or sodium like most other types of beverages.

Health Benefits

drinking soda water can help you stay hydrated, and it’s a good source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. It can also help settle your stomach if you’re feeling nauseous.

Because tonic water contains high-fructose corn syrup, sugars, and other sweeteners, it’s basically a soft drink. Carbonated water has no sugars or calories like regular water, so it’s a much healthier option for consumers. If you prefer tonic water, diet tonic waters are available. They’re made with aspartame, which has no calories. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

What are the top 6 soda water brands?

There are a lot of different brands and different kinds of soda water out there, but some of the best sparkling water brands include LaCroix, Perrier, waterloo sparkling water, Topo Chico, Spindrift (sweetened with natural flavors and real fruit juice), and San Pellegrino.

Club Soda vs Sparkling Water

Sparkling water has good carbonation, plenty of salts, and sulfur. However, unlike club soda, sparkling water’s carbonation is natural.

Both beverages are fizzy, but sparkling water produces fewer bubbles. If you want to feel the fizz under your nose, you’ll need club soda. As for the taste of sparkling water, this will vary based on the water source. 

A bottle of natural sparkling water is very good for you. It has no calories, sweeteners, or sodium like most other types of beverages.

glass of ice and clear liquid with lime slice

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does soda water come from?

Soda water is made by adding carbon dioxide to water. This can be done artificially or naturally. Natural soda waters often come from a mineral spring, while artificial soda waters are made by adding carbon dioxide to purified water.

What is hard seltzer?

Hard seltzer is a type of bubbly beverage that contains alcohol. It’s become very popular in recent years, especially among people who are trying to cut down on their alcohol intake. Some of the most popular brands of hard seltzer include White Claw and Truly.

How is soda water different from seltzer water?

The main difference between soda water and seltzer is the addition of minerals. soda water contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium, while seltzer does not. This makes soda water a better choice if you’re looking for a healthy sparkling water option.

Is Club Soda the Same Soda Water?

Soda water contains sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate, and tonic water doesn’t have these particular compounds. Tonic water is carbonated too, but it’s made with a compound called quinine. It makes the tonic water taste bitter. Most tonic water manufacturers will often add sugar to their products to counteract the bitterness.

In the past, tonic water was mainly used as a medication for soldiers. They consumed it to treat different stages of malaria.

What is the carbonation process?

The carbonation process is the process of adding carbon dioxide to water. This can be done artificially or naturally. Natural soda waters often come from mineral springs, while artificial soda waters are made by adding carbon dioxide to purified water.

soda water and gin

Beverages and Cocktails that Use Carbonated Water

Gin Soda – This recipe uses Empress gin. You can taste the natural botanicals of the gin and it’s very refreshing. 

French Spritz – Simple, refreshing spritz recipe made with elderflower, champagne, and sparkling water.

Classic Tom Collins – This is a highball cocktail with lemon juice, gin, and sparkling water.

Traditional White Sangria – This recipe is filled with fresh fruit, white wine apple vodka, and more!

Whiskey Highball – Another great cocktail recipe using just two simple ingredients. 

Also, soda water is a great substitute for sugary sodas. It contains zero calories, no sugar, no artificial flavors, and no fat. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Now that you know everything you need about club soda, it’s time to make some drinks! Let us know what you think about our gin soda recipe below by leaving a comment and review!

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soda water and gin

Guide to Sparkling Water – Gin Soda

A refreshing and light cocktail made with soda water (sparkling water or club soda) Empress gin and lime juice!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 69kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Empress Gin
  • 4 ounces Soda Water
  • 1/2 ounce Lime Juice

Instructions

  • In a small glass add ice cubes.
  • Pour the soda water over the ice cubes.
  • Add in the lime juice.
  • Pour the Empress gin over the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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