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What Is Club Soda? How to Use Sparkling Water

Whether you are looking for a healthy alternative to soda or searching for the perfect mixer, you will likely come across club soda, tonic water, and seltzer water on your quest. While all of these options are carbonated and fun to drink, each one has unique components and is typically featured in different drinks. Below is a guide to help you decide which fizzy beverage is right for your needs.

What Is Club Soda?

Club soda is carbonated water with added compounds for taste. Although it may differ brand to brand, club soda usually contains ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and potassium sulfate.

Though club soda has zero calories and no caffeine, the sodium content may vary based on the brand and serving size of the liquid. Most brands of club soda have below 5% of your daily value of sodium, so you don’t have to worry about excessive sodium intake if you drink club soda in moderation.

What Does Club Soda Taste Like?

Club soda has a slightly more salty, mineral flavor than traditional seltzer. However, it still boasts a clean and fresh taste.

What Is Club Soda Used For?

What is the difference between club soda and seltzer?

Club soda is a great mixer for many cocktails. Club soda is a staple in a few well-known drinks like a Tom Collins, a gin rickey, or a paloma. You can also use club soda to make non-alcoholic drinks, like Italian soda or bubbly lemonade.

Did you know? If you use club soda to replace water or milk in your dough and batter recipes, the results will yield an airier product. Who doesn’t like fluffy pancakes and waffles?

What Is Seltzer Water?

Seltzer water is simply water that has been carbonated artificially, although it may be possible to find naturally carbonated seltzer. It contains no other additives, like salts or sweeteners, so it has zero calories and no sugar.

What Does Seltzer Taste Like?

Seltzer water has a clean, simple taste. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to water, seltzer is a good place to start.

Did you know? Seltzer originated in a small town called Selters in Germany. Beginning in the late 8th century, the area was renowned for the supposed healing properties of its natural springs. It became a symbol of health and wealth over the next centuries, as only the rich could afford importing this special water from Selters.

What Is Tonic Water?

What is the difference between tonic water and club soda?

In its simplest form, tonic water is carbonated water that has high-fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, and quinine (a naturally occurring compound) that adds to its flavor and calorie count. Tonic water is great in the classic gin and tonic or vodka tonic.

What Does Tonic Water Taste Like?

Tonic water has a bitter and somewhat sweet flavor.

Did you know? Quinine was originally used as a medicine for malaria, so British soldiers would mix soda water, sugar, and eventually gin to help the bitter taste go down a little more easily. Quinine is also fluorescent, so the next time you get a chance, hold your gin and tonic underneath a black light!

What Is Sparkling Water?

Sparkling water is an umbrella term for any water that has been artificially carbonated with either hydrogen sulfide or, more commonly, carbon dioxide. Club soda, seltzer, and tonic water are all types of sparkling water with different ingredients and flavors. Mineral water is often categorized with sparkling water, but not all mineral water is carbonated.

Sparkling water is an excellent alternative to soda or juice, as it is not loaded with sugar. Seltzer, club soda, and tonic water are all sound economic choices, costing around $1 for a one-liter bottle.

Can Club Soda, Seltzer, and Tonic Water Be Used Interchangeably?

Club soda and seltzer water can be used interchangeably with little to no flavor change, but tonic water should not substitute club soda or seltzer. With its distinct bitter or citrusy flavor, tonic water may drastically affect the flavor of the drink you are trying to make. Conversely, replacing tonic water with club soda and seltzer in a drink will yield a more neutral taste than with tonic water.

Create Your Own Carbonated Water

Though $1 for a one-liter bottle is reasonable, making your own carbonated water can help save money for your business. A soda siphon and charger can be used to create seltzer easily and at a sensible price. The soda siphon is a one-time purchase, and you only need to replace the chargers every so often.


Now that you are aware of the variances between club soda, seltzer, and tonic water, you can rest easy when choosing what to stock in your bar. Delight your guests with a new and special cocktail on your beverage menu by combining liquor, juice, and your choice of sparkling water.

Posted in: Foodservice Trends | Menu Tips | Bars & Breweries | By WebstaurantStore
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